Interviews

Is Obama's Class Warfare Strategy Going to Work?

Polls indicate trouble for President Obama's tax the rich plans

 

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," December 26, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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ERIC BOLLING, HOST: In the "Impact Segment" tonight. A brand new Rasmussen poll out today shows 71 percent of likely voters think the government should cut spending while 18 percent want increase spending. The same poll shows 59 percent want the government to cut taxes while 27 percent want taxes raised. These numbers indicate there's trouble in store for President Obama's class warfare strategy.

Listen to this exchange.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KATHLEEN PARKER, COLUMNIST, WASHINGTON POST: I think this narrative of the class warfare, you know, that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, it pits Americans against each other and it is frankly un-American. I don't think it's an award for him.

MORIAL: But the problem with it Kathleen is it's true the top 10 percent have really seen their fortunes increase dramatically in the last 15 years.

PARKER: But you have to appeal to people's better angels and the same Gallup report I keep quoting said that 82 percent of Americans care most think that the prevailing message needs to be hope and opportunity.

MORIAL: Yes.

PARKER: They don't want the negative. They want the positive.

BROKAW: I think most Americans want to get into that top 10 percent by the way.

PARKER: Of course.

BROKAW: And that's why it doesn't quite --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLLING: Joining us now to analyze here in studio Kellyanne Conway a Republican pollster and from Columbia South Carolina Dick Harpootlian, the chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party.

So Mr. Harpootlian, it's going to be bad news for Mr. Obama if even Tom Brokaw isn't on board with the class warfare fight, right?

DICK HARPOOTLIAN, CHAIRMAN, SOUTH CAROLINA DEMOCRATIC PARTY: Well, I think, you know, class warfare is a term everybody uses but -- but as a practical matter what the American people -- CBS poll just a month ago showed that most Americans two out of three Americans believe that the wealthiest ought to pay their fair share. The wealthiest Americans people make over $1 million a year wrote off over the last three years $22 billion in gambling losses. Now we all understand that's not equitable further, the top one percent with the Bush tax cuts get $66,000 a year tax cut while. While the Republican --

BOLLING: Mr. Harpootlian we can play these numbers games all you want. But I will tell you the top five percent pay 40 percent of all taxes and the top 10 percent that you point out pay somewhere around 70 percent of all taxes put into the system.

HARPOOTLIAN: Well, -- well, let me put it to you this way. The average American works until April 1 to pay their taxes. Their life and their time is as important to them as a rich person, a hedge fund manager that works until February 1st. Now, this is like back in the civil war where people bought -- that rich people bought their way out of -- out of having to serve their country.

The question is, is there a patriotic duty to support this country? The average American is working three months a year to support government. The rich guys work in one. That is not right.

BOLLING: All right, all right, go ahead.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Therein lies the problem, sir. We actually -- when you add cost of government days together we're working well into May the average person to pay off all of the types of debt the deficit and certainly our tax liability.

But the point is that this is a very quick and easy cheap way to score political points but it's a terrible corrosive way for a President of the United States to govern a country. We deserve a President who wants to represent all people -- not just the ones that he thinks aren't rich or he thinks should be taxed more.

And this man has gone from hope and change and aspiration to really consultant-fed sound bites. And I think he's in full re-election mode and it's not going to work.

BOLLING: Dick -- Dick I can't tell you how many times I've heard the President and the White House said that the administration using millionaires, billionaires and corporate jet owners, meanwhile he is out there campaigning. He's fundraising, he's raising money from those millionaires and billionaires and corporate jet owners left and right at the taxpayer dime. He's using Air Force One to get to these places.

HARPOOTLIAN: Well there's many, many millionaires and billionaires who support the President's position to pay more taxes. Warren Buffet is one of them.

(CROSSTALK)

CONWAY: Name four more.

HARPOOTLIAN: All the billionaires and all the millionaires don't want to be patriotic and don't want to contribute. By the way, President Obama is also for cutting the federal deficit dramatically.

There is two pieces to this. Cutting deficit; cutting spending at the same time we've got to plug those loopholes and make sure everybody pays their fair share. Equity.

By the way we need to go back to Bill Clinton. Everybody did great under Bill Clinton tax.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: Dick -- Dick, I'm going to let -- I'm going to let Kellyanne respond to this. But I agree with you yes, cutting the deficit is great. The problem I'm having is I haven't heard Mr. Obama talk about cutting spending anywhere.

CONWAY: He doesn't do any of that actually.

BOLLING: Oh absolutely.

CONWAY: And what is they -- excuse me sir. (INAUDIBLE) And may I just say, I take umbrage as I'm sure millions of people watching do and you talking to people who are being punished by this president because they actually work hard and earn a dime and you're calling them unpatriotic because they don't pay every last dollar you can't squeeze every last dollar out of the rich -- so-called rich.

Don't call us unpatriotic -- don't call people unpatriotic because we don't pay 95 percent in taxes.

Now, back to the original point, what is President Obama's tax reform and growth plan? What is his plan to actually slash the deficit? This is a man who has no plan.

This is why the Republicans who are running all -- with the exception of Romney who also said he wants the rich to, quote, "pay their fair share -- -- they all have a flat tax plan. They all have a growth plan. They're all talking about prosperity and opportunity.

Look, the cost of food, fuel heating your home, unemployment, all of these are up under President Obama as is poverty. You don't reduce poverty by trying to tax the rich and viewers are smart enough to know that.

BOLLING: Go ahead Dick. And she is right, by the way, food stamp usage is up 10 percent.

HARPOOTLIAN: It's going to take more than three years to get over eight years of George Bush.

CONWAY: Oh my gosh.

HARPOOTLIAN: Wait, wait, wait -- when Bill Clinton left the White House he gave the keys to George Bush, we had no deficit. We had surpluses as far as you could see and we weren't at war. A trillion-dollar war --

CONWAY: The Obama economy welcome.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: Thank you guys.

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