Appearing on Fox & Friends Tuesday morning, Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro took aim at Democrats who blamed the GOP for the brief government shutdown, and also offered his opinion as to who were the big winners and losers in the shutdown battle.
Asked for his reaction to Democrats from Senator Chuck Schumer to MSNBC’s Joy Reid blaming the GOP for the brief government shutdown, including Reid hilariously insisting that the media is run by the right wing, Shapiro responded sardonically:
Since 2013, when there was a study showing that a full 7% of journalists are registered Republicans or identify as such, I’ve known that the media is biased toward Republicans. Joy Reid is, I think on this stuff, patently insane. She said yesterday, by the way, that the Democrats won the showdown, on Twitter. She actually said they manipulated the president, which is a shock. She also said last week that Jeff Flake, the senator who made a speech openly on the floor of the Senate ripping Trump, was a Trumpist. So clearly the media bias extends to Joy Reid in favor of Republicans. These stats are ridiculous, by the way. In the first hundred days, according to the Harvard Kennedy School of Government study, the media coverage of President Trump was unprecedentedly bad and negative.
Shapiro pointed out some salient facts:
In fact, networks like CNN and NBC had negative stories covering the president outpace positive ones at a 13 to 1 rate. CBS covered the president 90% negative, in excess of 90% negative. That was not rare in the media. So this idea from Joy Reid that somehow the media was responsible for the Democrats losing this? If the Democrats were able to lose this political standoff with the media as heavily biased toward Democrats as they have been historically, that just shows how bad Democrats were at this.
Host Steve Doocy asked Shapiro who he thought were the winners and losers in the shutdown battle. Shapiro replied:
Obviously the big loser here is Chuck Schumer, who shut down the government for no apparent reason. Got nothing out of Mitch McConnell. Got nothing out of President Trump. And now we're going to have to do all this again on February 8, except for the fact that the Democrats have no leverage because they've already shown that they're not going to be willing to keep the government shut down over any of these same issues. So Schumer is the big loser here; even members of his own party, Nancy Pelosi, all the senators who want to run in 2020 on the Democratic side, have been ripping him up and down. I don't think that that's likely to stop.
President Trump obviously is the big winner here. He didn't have to give up anything in order to get past the government shutdown. Mitch McConnell is looking more and more clever by the day over the past several months, not only ushering tax cuts through the Senate, but also preventing Schumer from continuing to shut down the government by offering essentially nothing in return. The Democrats look like they're in a fair bit of disarray here, which is kind of a shock because you would have figured that they would be unified simply by their hatred of the president, but apparently there are enough Democrats in red states who are concerned that they were going to run competitive races if they continue to shut down the government for literally no reason.
Host Ainsley Earhardt asked what Shapiro thought middle America was thinking about the shutdown battle. He answered:
There's always an impression that D.C. is a hotbed of stupidity and corruption but I think that when it comes to things like the government shutdown, the vast majority of Americans, forget the coasts or the center of the country, because I've spent a lot of time, I've lived my entire life on the coasts, I think the vast majority of people when there's a government shutdown, aside from media headlines about how the world is going to end and the zombie apocalypse is upon us, most people do not feel it, especially if the government shutdown is only a couple of days. Most people look around and they don't see people dying in the streets and they think, "It isn't so bad," and then look at the government being shut down by Democrats over illegal immigration, and they say, "You're really not going to send checks to our military members because you want to protect illegal immigrants? This is the math that you're doing?" Democrats realize that, which is why, again, this thing passed overwhelmingly among Democrats. In the Senate I think the vote was 81 votes overall, which includes a majority of Democrats, I believe.
Host Brian Kilmeade asked if Republicans pursued more moderate Democrats given the fact that so many Democrats voted to end the shutdown, would there be a chance of getting a budget done.
I think there is a chance of that, particularly because the president is going to have to stand fast. And he has stood fast so far. If he stands fast on his immigration platform and he says, "Listen, you're not going to get full-on DACA, some sort of executive amnesty enshrined in law, unless we also get not only border security but also revisions to the Diversity Visa Lottery Program, revisions to chain migration and we actually get some serious immigration reform here, then nothing's going to happen."
And he has the prerogative, he's the chief executive. He can just continue to not enforce the law, the same way that Obama did, so there's really not a lot of political pressure on the president at this point, but there is a lot of political pressure from the left side to the Democrats. I think that so long as Trump stands fast and he stands with folks like Tom Cotton and, yes, Stephen Miller, I think that he's going to be able to get a much better deal out of Democrats than skeptics thought just a few weeks ago.