News and Commentary

‘Dumbest Spin Line I’ve Ever Heard’: Chris Wallace Crushes Biden, Dems’ ‘Zero-Dollar’ Claim

"Biden’s in real trouble.”
Debate moderator and Fox News anchor Chris Wallace directs the first presidential debate at Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, on September 29, 2020.
Olivier Douliery/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

On Thursday, Fox News’ Chris Wallace, commenting on the trend among Democrats and President Biden to claim that Biden’s Build Back Better agenda that encompasses the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package would “cost zero,” snapped, “this might be the dumbest spin line I’ve ever heard.”

Wallace was hosted on the Brian Kilmeade Show, where Kilmeade’s preamble to his interview included a clip of Wallace slamming Biden advisor Cedric Richmond for making the “cost zero” claim.

Richmond had told Wallace, “This piece of legislation costs zero. We’re gonna pay for it all by raising taxes on the very wealthy and big corporations, which is favored by 70% of  —”

Wallace fired back, “Mr. Richmond, I’ve gotta stop you there. It doesn’t cost zero. Whether it’s $3.5 trillion or two trillion or 1.5 trillion, whatever, it costs that amount of money. Now, you can pay for it by borrowing it or you can pay for it by raising taxes on the corporations and the wealthy, but it doesn’t cost zero.”

Fox News reported earlier this week:

“My Build Back Better Agenda costs zero dollars,” Biden’s Twitter account tweeted last week, claiming that the agenda “adds zero dollars to the national debt.” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki repeated the claim in a news conference the following Monday, saying, “This reconciliation package would cost zero dollars.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., also insisted that the cost is “zero.”

“I’m so glad you pressed him on this because it was the most illogical, Madison Avenue term I’ve ever seen,” Kilmeade told Wallace about his confrontation with Richmond.

“I’ve been in Washington for more than 40 years and this might be the dumbest spin line I’ve ever heard, that a $3 trillion bill costs nothing, because you’re going to pay for it,” Wallace asserted. “I mean, I don’t know, when you bought your last car and you paid for it, did you think, ‘Well, I got that for free, that costs nothing?’ No, you paid for it. So you could say — and I don’t think actually this will even be true – that it’ll add nothing to the debt, but it certainly doesn’t cost nothing. It’s not free. It costs whatever it costs.”

Kilmeade brought up the Quinnipiac poll showing President Biden’s support plunging to 38%, noting the poll showing Biden’s hemorrhaging support among independents and miniscule support for some other Biden policies. Kilmeade commented, “This has got to set off alarm bells at the White House.”

“Absolutely,” Wallace responded. “There are some polls that are a little iffy; there are some polls that are rock solid. I think the Fox poll is rock-solid, and so is Quinnipiac; for them to find 38% approval, I mean, we’re in Richard Nixon or Jimmy Carter level. That’s pretty bad; we’re only eight months into a presidency. This is usually when presidents are at their most popular. Having said that, you take the combination of the debacle getting out of Afghanistan, the debacle in Del Rio, Texas, and you know, the failure to pass any part of their domestic agenda; you can understand why not only Republicans disapprove of, but independents are having second — there’s one number in there you can find, I don’t have it in front of me, just on competence, forget policy, competence, Biden’s in real trouble.”

Kilmeade pointed out 55% of respondents in the Quinnipiac poll felt Biden was not leading the government in a competent way.