Abby Huntsman: GOP ‘Considered the Jerks’ For Wanting Spending Cuts

On Monday, President Obama released his 2016 budget, which calls for increased spending and raising taxes, and on MSNBC’s The Cycle, so-called conservative co-host Abby Huntsman did her best to scold the GOP for opposing the tax-and-spend Obama budget. 

Speaking to Lauren Fox of National Journal, Huntsman proclaimed that Republicans’ “big thing is we’ve got to cut spending, this is not something we’re going to approve and that’s often why they are considered the jerks here, because they aren’t talking about entitlements, they are talking about cuts.”  

The so-called “conservative” MSNBC host began her questioning by admitting that “the question here is how we afford” Obama’s latest budget before sounding like a liberal as she criticized her fellow Republicans for daring to demand that the budget be paid for rather than adding to the nation’s debt.

As the segment progressed, Blake Zeff, fill-in host and politics editor for the liberal Salon.com website, brought up the recent outbreak of measles across the country as the perfect time to attack conservatives. Zeff noted how “Chris Christie today had a little bit of trouble when he was asked about whether children should be vaccinated in the United States” before falsely claiming that the GOP is full of anti-vaccine hysteria: 

How does this type of anti-vaccination fervor play on the right? Obviously needs to appeal to a Republican base as he thinks about running for president. Is that something that’s likely to be popular among the part of the right that sort of has this anti-government, don't tell me what to do kind of fervor? 

For her part, Lauren Fox concluded the vaccine discussion by debunking Zeff’s claim that the GOP is anti-vaccine:

Pew did a poll a few years ago that showed that actually Democrats and Republicans weren't that different when it came to this issue, 71% of Democrats, 71% of Republicans said that it was the government's decision if they wanted to mandate vaccinations.

See relevant transcript below. 

MSNBC’s The Cycle 

February 2, 2015

ABBY HUNTSMAN: Another big headline this week as Krystal [Ball] mentioned is the $4 trillion budget that the president is now punting off to Congress. They’re calling it the have-it-all budget, it includes $534.3 billion for the Pentagon. And the question here is how we afford that? I mean we all want to have it all. I mean, even Republicans would say we want to have all of that. But their big thing is we’ve got to cut spending, this is not something we’re going to approve and that’s often why they are considered the jerks here, because they aren’t talking about entitlements, they are talking about cuts. What is the best case scenario for President Obama in this? 

LAUREN FOX: Well certainly this is his opening argument. This is sort of his first bid to get Republicans to sit down at the negotiating table with him. You know, one of the things we saw in this budget, and he talked about this in the State of the Union, was increasing the capital gains tax. That’s something the White House is saying, you know, if you want to create revenue we can change the tax code and we can get rid of a lot of those loopholes that corporations have been using for years. So certainly Democrats have their own playbook for how to say that the president plans to increase revenues here. 

BLAKE ZEFF: Alright Lauren. Speaking of the president, let's talk about one of the men who would like his job. Of course I'm thinking of Chris Christie, today had a little bit of trouble when he was asked about whether children should be vaccinated in the United States. He was sort of asked in the context of measles and he gave an answer that made some waves, let's say. He essentially said that he had vaccinated his own children but that he thought there should be some sort of balance in this country and that elicited a response that resulted in Christie later clarifying his stance on this.

How does this type of anti-vaccination fervor play on the right? Obviously needs to appeal to a Republican base as he thinks about running for president. Is that something that’s likely to be popular among the part of the right that sort of has this anti-government, don't tell me what to do kind of fervor? 

FOX: Well what’s certainly interesting is Pew did a poll a few years ago that showed that actually Democrats and Republicans weren't that different when it came to this issue, 71% of Democrats, 71% of Republicans said that it was the government's decision if they wanted to mandate vaccinations. Just a smaller quarter of those folks said that it was up to parents. But Chris Christie is not the only one who’s coming out and making statements on this. Rand Paul also has said that this is something that should be up to parents. And so I think it’s going to be interesting to see how Democrats and Republicans respond to this and whether it becomes a partisan issue because polls really haven't shown it to be so far.

Economy Taxes Power Lunch MSNBC The Cycle Abby Huntsman

Sponsored Links