Despite the Left’s high fives over Bernie’s Fox town hall, he whiffed on the tougher questions

Despite the Left’s high fives over Bernie’s Fox town hall, he whiffed on the tougher questions
MSNBC video

Last night, according to The Washington Post, presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders entered the lion’s den. He went where even the Democratic National Committee fears to tread, which is within a hundred paces of the Fox News Channel: In March, the DNC declared Fox off-limits for its debates, claiming the network is unfair and unbalanced.

The Post titled its piece “Bernie Sanders pierces the Fox News bubble — but for only a flickering moment.” This was somewhat of a stretch considering the town hall was on neutral turf, in Bethlehem, Pa., not in a Fox studio, and the audience was comprised almost entirely of Sanders enthusiasts, who applauded wildly with each new policy proposal.

In spite of this, Sanders faltered when asked a question he wasn’t prepared for. Such a question was put to the Vermont socialist by moderator Bret Baier, who pointed out that Sanders had benefited from the Trump tax that he bitterly opposes. Noting that the senator, who has proposed a 52% tax on the wealthy, paid taxes at the marginal rate of 26% bracket thanks to Trump, Baier asked why he didn’t send the money back.

Sanders answered haltingly, “Pfft  come on — I am, I paid the taxes that I owe.” Then he immediately changed the subject, asking, “Why don’t you get Donald Trump up here and ask him how much he pays in taxes?”

Sanders swung and missed again, this time on a cosmic scale, when the topic switched to cost of his single-payer health care proposal, Medicare for All. When co-moderator Martha MacCallum began a question based on the assumption that Sanders’s health care plan would drive up taxes, he corrected her, asserting, “You’re not gonna have health insurance premiums.”

When MacCallum countered, “You’re going to pay one way or the other,” Sanders replied, “Look, Martha — Martha — health care is not free.” When she noted that this contradicted what he had said a short time earlier, he answered, “It’s going to be free at the point of when you use it. OK.”

When the dialogue appeared to devolving into chaos, he provided a rambling lecture:

It’s a fair — firstly, let’s just say hypothetically, you are self-employed. And you have — you got a husband and two kids. OK? Family of four. You know how much that family is paying today for healthcare? $28,000.

All right, we’re spending $11,000 per person. We are saying to that family of four, you ain’t going to pay that $28,000, you’re not paying any more premiums. You’re not paying any more co-payments. You’re not paying any more deductibles. How’s that? $28,000? You’re not paying. But does not mean you’re not going to pay something? Of course it does. You’re going to pay more in taxes.

Shorter Sanders, responding to MacCallum’s original question: Yes, you’re going to pay more in taxes to cover the cost.

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.