Interviews

Senior WH adviser blames Fox News for class warfare rhetoric

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee weighs in

 

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," July 6, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": It's Fox. If not for this news network, Fox, no one would even have heard the words class warfare uttered. Utter nonsense?

Not to senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett. She blames Fox News for the angry rhetoric.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So many businessmen and others have said that the message has become one of class warfare, attacking the rich, attacking people who make a profit, people who make jobs. Why is it that that tone has been set, that people believe that this is a class war...

(CROSSTALK)

VALERIE JARRETT, SENIOR PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER: Well, they may be watching one particular network.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: CNN?

JARRETT: No.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(LAUGHTER)

CAVUTO: Governor Mike Huckabee heard that, and suggests she might want to check with her boss, because this is what he and Vice President Joe Biden are saying on the campaign trail pretty much all the time.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: You guys, educators, teachers, you're under full-blown assault.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: I don't think we grow our economy from the top down. I think we grow the economy from the middle class up.

BIDEN: He says the president's out of touch?

(LAUGHTER)

BIDEN: How many of you all have a Swiss bank account?

OBAMA: There's not wrong with asking the wealthy to pay a little more in taxes.

BIDEN: They don't get us!

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

BIDEN: They don't get who we are.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAVUTO: Governor?

(LAUGHTER)

CAVUTO: Take it from here.

MIKE HUCKABEE (R), FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR: Joe's half right.

They, whoever they are, don't get who we are. Well, who he is and who Obama is are people who believe that the best way to fix the economy is to penalize productivity and subsidize reckless irresponsibility. So, you take money from those who have worked really, really hard to be successful and to work.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: Well, they're not doing their fair share. I don't know if you got the memo. They're not doing their fair share.

HUCKABEE: Well, what is the fair share?

Every time I ask a Democrat that question, I say give me a percentage. What should the tax be on these people?

CAVUTO: Everything. Everything, 100 percent.

HUCKABEE: Nobody can ever nail it down because they don't want to say more than what it's ever been before.

But the fact is class warfare has been the primary tool that the Obama administration has used to try to say that there's something inherently wrong with people who have been successful. And I think what the real downside is -- I grew up dirt poor, Neil. I'm the first male in my family to graduate high school. No one...

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: Whatever happened to you?

(LAUGHTER)

HUCKABEE: Well, you know, the fact is, when Joe Biden talks like that, I'm saying, Joe, you don't speak for me. You don't even know who I am. You have no idea where I have come from. Please don't act like that you understand the middle class.

I longed to be in the middle class as a kid growing up. And the idea that somehow you would grow up resenting people who have something, no, it inspires you. I grew up wanting to be able to get an education, to work hard, and hope one day to be able to live better than I grew up living.

CAVUTO: You know, I'm wondering, too, there must be a strategy to it, though, Governor. And I know you have run for president. You have been governor. You have been surrounded by aides and sycophants and people who tell you what to say and what to do.

HUCKABEE: Just sick people, as most...

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

CAVUTO: And I always wonder the president's people -- after all, he got elected president.

HUCKABEE: Yes.

CAVUTO: He's no dummy. And he was surrounded by people who were up against a Herculean challenge getting him to where he is today.

So they have got these tracking polls that figure if you criticize private capital, if you criticize the rich, if you go after them as sort of a gilded class, you're going to register, you're going to resonate. And obviously they keep doing it, so they feel they have -- and some polls seem to vindicate, despite the bad economy. They are.

So, being a bit too simplistic here, but maybe the numbers are with them on this stuff.

HUCKABEE: I don't think that's it, as much as it is that people genuinely like Barack Obama, the folks out there who don't really pay attention to policy. They pay attention to personality. And his personality...

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: But they pay attention to their own sense of worth, don't they?

HUCKABEE: But they do believe that a lot of that is because of those nasty Republicans in Congress.

If you're the single voice of the president, you always win at the bully pulpit level, because there's one of you and there's 535 members of Congress, half of whom are Republicans. And it's easy to blame them and it's hard for them to have the unified voice. I think that's a lot of what happens.

And yet it's interesting. Obama talks about the class of the rich. And where does he hang out most of the time? With the George Clooney's at $40,000 a pop at a dinner, coming to New York and hanging out with the swells at $35,000 per plate.

For him to act like that he's just a man in touch with the ordinary people, he's had more fund-raisers in more high-dollar situations than any president in history. It's hardly the lifestyle of the poor and the destitute.

CAVUTO: That's very well put, very well put. You know, following behind the governor, not too long ago, you know every person he bumps into, every security guard, it could be just an intern, it could be -- no matter who you are, he's smiling and he's very friendly to them. And I have seen other big names come through this building who will go unnamed.

(LAUGHTER)

CAVUTO: It's as if they're invisible. They don't exist.

I always think that says something about a person. I don't know what.

(LAUGHTER)

CAVUTO: But, seriously, it does. Just a remarkable guy. He has a remarkable show tomorrow night.

What do you got going?

HUCKABEE: Well, we Allen West on. We will be talking with him. We will also...

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: Very good. I take it not the guy from "Batman." The congressman.

HUCKABEE: Allen, not Adam.

CAVUTO: OK, gotcha. OK, gotcha.

HUCKABEE: Yes.

And, by the way, a little trivia here. The guy that played Robin turned 67 today.

CAVUTO: No way.

HUCKABEE: It's his birthday today. I know that you were really wanting to know that for your show on financial matters, but I thought that might be of interest.

CAVUTO: Maybe if you spent a little less time talking to everyone...

(CROSSTALK)

(LAUGHTER)

HUCKABEE: We also have an African-American pastor, very prominent, who will talk about, does Barack Obama have the monolithic support of the African-American community this year? And surprising answer.

CAVUTO: Really? Look forward to that. Governor, thank you very much.

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