Jon Stewart Asks Dem. Senator if GOPers ‘Have Mental Problems?’

Liberal New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand sat down for a friendly interview with Daily Show host Jon Stewart on Wednesday night and the two eagerly took turns bashing Republican members of Congress for being “cynical” for disagreeing with liberal policy positions. 

After Stewart and Gillibrand complained that, other than Papua New Guinea, America is the only industrialized country that doesn’t have mandated paid leave, Stewart wondered [i]s our government just too big to manage now? Is that the problem? Is it just everything just slips under the thing? I don't understand. What is the issue?"

Gillibrand insisted that the problem is Congress, which lives in a “bubble” and doesn’t “have a lot of empathy for regular working families." This gave Stewart the perfect opportunity to smear GOP members of Congress for not caring enough: 

But is it like, at a certain point you just think are they like rapacious social Darwinian caricatures of villains. Like, I almost think, are they Dickensian Scrooges? I don't mind people being responsible with taxpayer money, that's important, to manage efficiencies. But this idea of like food stamps, you know, then everybody is just going to go out and buy shrimp and sit around and drink Mai Tai’s. 

Gillibrand then accused the GOP of lacking “empathy” to which Stewart asked if it was “pathological though? Do you think they have mental problems?” While Gillibrand didn’t go quite as far as the Comedy Central host in her criticism of Republicans, the New York Democrat had no trouble labeling them as “out of touch. I think most members are out of touch and they do not know what it is like for regular working Americans.”

The GOP bashing continued as Stewart labeled Republicans as “cynical” who are “manipulating a grievance industry amongst voters that and play into that as the voters as victims of this entitlement culture or do they truly believe it, or is it a more cynical exercise in politics?” 

The segment concluded with the two liberals agreeing that it’s “outrageous” Republicans don’t want to expand programs like food stamps which prompted Stewart to ask Gillibrand “[d]o you ever punch anybody? Like you’re just in their office and be just be like oh, I'm so sorry. I have to deck you.”

See relevant transcript below. 

Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

July 1, 2015

JON STEWART: What's the next thing close to your heart that you want to get done? What’s the next thing? 

KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND: Well, I am working hard on also ending campus sexual assault and working hard on actually passing a paid leave program for the entire United States for all workers that can make sure that family members can be there. 

STEWART: We’re the only country that doesn’t do that other than like New Guinea. 

GILLIBRAND: The only—it’s us and Papua New Guinea. 

STEWART: Papua New Guinea. Yeah, yeah, yeah. 

GILLIBRAND: The only industrialized country in the world that doesn't have paid leave, and so whether you have a spouse that's ill or a parent that’s dying or a new child, families need flexibility so you don't have to quit your job. That you can stay on course and not lose that place in your business and not lose that training. 

STEWART: Where did we lose the thread? Where did we lose the thread? Is our government just too big to manage now? Is that the problem? Is it just everything just slips under the thing? I don't understand. What is the issue? 

GILLIBRAND: The issue is, people in Congress are in a bubble and they don't have a lot of empathy for regular working families. 

STEWART: But is it like, at a certain point you just think are they like rapacious social Darwinian caricatures of villains. Like, I almost think, are they Dickensian Scrooges? I don't mind people being responsible with taxpayer money, that's important, to manage efficiencies. But this idea of like food stamps, you know, then everybody is just going to go out and buy shrimp and sit around and drink Mai Tai’s. 

GILLIBRAND: Yes, it's a lack of empathy. And most members of Congress don't even realize that if are you on the minimum wage are you under the poverty line. 
STEWART: Is it pathological though? Do you think they have mental problems? 

GILLIBRAND: No I think they are out of touch. I think most members are out of touch and they do not know what it is like for regular working Americans. 

STEWART: Is it cynical, are they manipulating a grievance industry amongst voters that and play into that as the voters as victims of this entitlement culture or do they truly believe it, or is it a more cynical exercise in politics?

GILLIBRAND: I think it's cynicism, personally. And what we see on the paid leave issue is, most members of Congress are extremely affluent. They don't know what it is like to not have any childcare at home or to not be able to take time off if someone if someone in your family is ill. They’ve never lived it.  

STEWART But they earned it on their own, like only they have earned it. They’ve earned it. All you have to do is pick yourself up out of poverty and despair and then you could be in the Senate and if I give you food stamps, that's going to send a very bad message to you, that you get to eat. And that's, you know

GILLIBRAND: Yeah, it's outrageous. 

STEWART: I have to tell you. It's crazy outrageous. Do you ever-- you don't have to answer this. Do you ever punch anybody? Like you’re just in their office and be just be like oh, I'm so sorry. I have to deck you.

GILLIBRAND No, no, no. 

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