Fox News late-night host Laura Ingraham was forced to cut a segment short Thursday night as tensions flared between Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida and Democratic strategist Chris Hahn.
Talking over one another in raised voices, Gaetz and Hahn had verbally sparred for several minutes on “The Ingraham Angle” over the recently controversial topic of voting amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic when the two got “too personal” for the host and were quickly removed from the program.
Prompting the final blowout argument between the two was Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers’ unsuccessful attempt to unilaterally postpone the state’s April 7 primary until June due to public health concerns — a political venture Ingraham posed might have verged on the autocratic.
“Chris Hahn, if a Republican governor pulled that, I know you wouldn’t be in favor of it,” Ingraham said.
“No, Laura. Mike DeWine, the Republican governor of Ohio, did exactly that, and he was right to do it,” Hahn said. “But the Republicans wanted as few people as possible in that election so they could win.”
“I’m all for there being a legislative involvement in these decisions. I agree with you partially on that, but, that said, the Republican plan is to suppress the vote,” he said.
According to Gaetz, however, it was not Republican efforts to keep ballot-casting both in person and on schedule that constituted voter suppression, but prominent Democratic warnings that voting amid the pandemic would pose a mortal health risk for those who went to the polls.
“No, that’s what James Carville was doing when he was saying the people are going to die if they show up and vote,” Gaetz said. “That was voter suppression coming directly from him. It wasn’t Republicans saying, ‘Don’t vote.’ It was one of your people.”
Pivoting, Hahn went on to warn Gaetz against invoking coronavirus deaths in the debate, suggesting the Florida Republican’s infamous gas-mask clad appearance in photos on the Hill during the opening days of the global coronavirus outbreak were likely responsible for numerous Americans falling ill as a result of not taking the virus seriously.
“Buddy, you shouldn’t be talking about people dying, because people in your district saw you making fun of this and took this less seriously,” Hahn alleged.
“What are you talking about? You are such a joke,” Gaetz responded, adding, “The fact that you can’t substantively argue the point, you have to pretend to ascribe motives to me, is a testament to the fact that you don’t have the intellectual ability to have an actual debate.”
It was then that Ingraham moved to have the plug pulled on the two warring partisans.
Gaetz clearly thought he got the best of the exchange as it was shared on his YouTube channel with the title “Gaetz Shreds Unhinged Liberal on Live TV.”
The blowout argument was not the first between the Gaetz and Hahn, with Ingraham having already asked the two to avoid personal attacks as the two discussed the impacts of partisan politics on national pandemic response.
“I find it rich that Congressman Gaetz is talking about politicizing this after the stunt you pulled on the House floor with that gas mask,” Hahn had said. “I hope you’re going to lend that to your constituents so they can show up and vote, Matt!”
“Give me a break,” Gaetz responded. “I was making a point that we should be concerned about it as congressman because, in Congress, we go through the dirtiest airports and interact with a lot of people. … You can’t ascribe my motives any more than anyone else could.”
The discussion devolved further, however, as the two began interrupting one another to trade taunts — a display Ingraham said “drives people crazy.”
The Western Journal has reached out to Gaetz and Hahn for comment but has not yet received a response.
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