Roughly two-thirds of the way through the Ben Shapiro-Cenk Uygur debate on Sunday night, Shapiro fired off with an explosive blast that got one of the two biggest ovations of the night, (the other came later, also triggered by Shapiro) as he reversed Uygur’s own torpedo likening corporations supporting candidates to hookers and sent the torpedo directly back at Uygur. Shapiro also eviscerated Uygur’s attack on conservatives who are pro-life.
Uygur began by ripping Shapiro for having previously pointed out that Uygur’s own speech was financially supported. He stated, “You say, what’s the difference between your speech and their speech. Mine is actually speech, and theirs is money. So there’s a giant difference.”
Shapiro pointed out, “But you spend money on your speech.”
Uygur launched his ill-fated torpedo:
So they say, no, no the Supreme Court says there’s no money in speech now. Money is property; it’s not speech. If money was speech, well, then, if you go to a hooker, and you say, “Oh, no, officer, I was just talking to her.” Money is not speech. For example, to give you a sense of it, to compare me, saying I like Bernie Sanders and you saying, whoever you like is the equivalent of this is obviously nonsensical; I believe it’s obvious.
So, in a recent five-year period the top 200 corporate givers, they both in donations and in lobbying spent 5.8 billion dollars. That is not the same thing as me saying, “ I like Bernie’s saying about colleges and Medicare, and when they did, why do you think they did? It was not because, hey, they genuinely like Bernie or Trump or Hillary, because in return for that 5.8 billion dollars they got 4.4 trillion dollars in government subsidies. Which leads to I actually think the biggest point here: the difference between big government and small government.
A lot of times conservatives say, “Oh, you guys like big government.” That’s not true. Let me explain.
Uygur then posited that making the difference between big government and small government was not the issue because it all depended on what the situation was, then took a swipe at Shapiro by saying Shapiro had supported the Iraq War, so he loved big government. “Couldn’t get enough of it, “ he chortled. He continued, “I could go on and on and on, Republicans say, ‘No, no, no, we don’t like big government, but we’d like to be inside your uterus.’ So just admit it; it’s no problem. Just say it. Say I love big government; it’s okay. So you’re talking about when you’re rich and you want tax cuts, ‘Oh, no, I don’t want big government; I want small government.‘ But when it’s convenient for you, you’d like oil subsidies and you’d like wars and you want to meddle in people’s private lives, then you love big government.”
Shapiro started off calmly dissecting Uygur’s statements, but ended by taking the torpedo and sending it right back to explode in Uygur’s face:
First of all, I’d like to point out that Cenk’s “big government-small government” dichotomy was proposed by you, not by me. I talk about the proper scope of the government’s involvement in particular areas the same way that you do, and we may disagree on all of that. My point is that overall, if you’re talking about the level of government spending, it needs to go down, and you believe that it really needs to go up. It’s disingenuous —
Cenk interrupted, “It depends. Not on war, it doesn’t. Not in the war on drugs. Not on so many of those wasteful programs.”
Shapiro undeterred, continued:
Overall, you want the federal budget increased. Overall, I would like the federal budget decreased. To pretend that this is not true is to lie. When you suggest there is no difference between — we just have different visions of what the government should cover, these things cost different things. The war in Iraq was very expensive. You know what is more expensive? Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. All of these are vastly more expensive than the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Uygur: “We paid into it.”
Shapiro then went launched his full-bore assault vis-a-vis abortion::
Now, again, going back to this idea, again, I don’t like this idea of big government dichotomy, any more than you do, in the sense that you say, “Well, it’s big government for the government to get inside people’s wombs.” And I say that it’s the government’s job to preserve life, liberty, and property, and one of those things is life. To protect you from someone else taking it. To protect you from someone else taking it.
Then, sending the original Uygur torpedo back at him:
Now, when it comes to the idea that all money in politics is bad; again, I ask you — final question, we’re going through ten points at a time — but final point here: when you say money in politics is bad, again, I ask you: Buddy Roemer gave you four million dollars to start TYT. What did he expect in return? Should he not have given you money? Was the money not speech? It was just money after all; it’s just like a hooker, I assume. so, are you the prostitute? How did this work?
Waiting for the ovation to subside, Shapiro added, “When you take money from Al-Jazeera, does that make you a hooker for the Qataris? How does that work?”