Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum was forced to step in and referee after a debate between guests Richard Goodstein and Pete Hegseth got heated.
MacCallum started the segment off with a question about President Joe Biden’s harsh criticism of the recently-leaked early opinion draft — calling for landmark abortion cases Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey to be overturned — and what he called the “ultra-MAGA agenda.”
Was it wise, MacCallum wondered, for Biden to risk alienating half the country in an effort to rally support going into the quickly-approaching midterm elections?
“Is it wise. Is it politically wise? You have a lot of people who live in the suburbs a lot of independent voters, like 70%, that have a disapproval for this president. Is it wise to do sort of the ‘basket of deplorables’ plan here? Is that smart on the part of this president?” she asked.
Goodstein, who worked as an advisor to both former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, immediately attempted to change the subject.
“That’s not what he said at all. He said, you know, the police are the good guys. Donald Trump watched the police get their heads bashed in —” he began, but Hegseth interrupted.
“Back to January 6,” Hegseth said. “Go to the talking point. Go to the talking point. Did you say the same thing about the rioters and the BLM protesters?”
“They burned a Biden headquarters, too, so to lay them at the feet of Democrats is nonsense,” Goodstein said. “So the fact of the matter is, Martha, to answer your question —”
“Is it politically wise to alienate half the country with that comment? Is that wise?” MacCallum asked again.
Goodstein argued that independents did not like extremes and did not believe things like abortion should be “off the table.”
“That isn’t what the opinion says and I’m not going to let you get away with saying that,” MacCallum jumped back in then, noting that if Roe were to be overturned, the states would still have the ability to determine their own abortion laws and restrictions.
Fox News' Pete Hegseth: "You're the party of defund the police!"
Ex-Clinton advisor: "And you’re the party of bashing police on the Capitol ground!"
Martha MacCallum: "That's not fair! Nobody wants to see – we’re like normal people! Okay?" pic.twitter.com/YGQ96WCshc
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) May 5, 2022
“A bunch of people who work at the Supreme Court don’t get to decide, I get to decide for my own self and for my own state with my vote,” she said.
“Over a dozen states have already basically passed laws saying no exceptions. Health of the mother, nothing. No rape, no —” Goodstein objected.
“Those will have to be approved by the people of the state with their vote,” MacCallum pushed back.
Goodstein argued that some of the laws had already been passed — at which point Hegseth noted that the people in those states had voted for the representatives who passed those laws.
“You’re the party that runs around yelling ‘Democracy dies in darkness,’” Hegseth argued. “Democracy is the people voting — the closest voting to the people is the most effective —”
“And Martha’s question, is that a way to reach independents, the answer is they are freaked out at the notion that those laws could become law,” Goodstein said.
“Here’s what they’re freaked out about: You’re the party of defund the police, you’re the party of open borders, you’re the party of injecting race —” Hegseth interrupted.
“And you’re the party of bashing police on the Capitol grounds, okay?” Goodstein pushed back.
“No, no, no. You know what? That’s not fair,” MacCallum interrupted. “It’s not fair. Nobody wants to see — we’re like normal people, okay? We don’t want — nobody wants to see a policeman’s head bashed in. Whether it’s at the Capitol, I don’t want to see police officers in Minneapolis chased out of their own precinct and driven away from their own precinct, I don’t want to see that either.”
“We have a fair forum here,” MacCallum concluded. “I’m going to keep that because I want to see — when it comes time to vote, I want to see what independents actually do. That’s what is going to be so fascinating about watching this mid-term process, because how do they feel? What is more important to them? Inflation or what is happening at the Supreme Court. We’ll see. We’ll see what they decide.”