Fox News contributor and fill-in host Ben Domenech took a thinly veiled shot at long-time network anchor Chris Wallace following President Joe Biden’s first address to a joint session of Congress that was sparsely attended due to COVID-19 restrictions.
During his speech, Biden got bipartisan applause on a number of occasions but also drew some boos and other negative responses from Republicans when he mentioned his desire to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour and his “American Jobs Plan,” which is a massively expensive proposal painted as an infrastructure plan that GOP lawmakers have said provides only a fraction of the estimated $1.8 trillion price tag to such projects.
Sixty-four minutes later, when Biden finished his address and as the few members of Congress in attendance began to filter out of the House chamber, and before Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) gave the GOP rebuttal, Fox News anchors Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum brought in a panel that included Wallace, Domenech, Brit Hume, Katie Pavlich, and former Democratic Rep. Harold Ford Jr. of Tennessee.
First up, Wallace offered high praise for Biden’s speech and predicted that it would resonate with a majority of Americans.
(Video: Fox News)
“You know, I think this is going to be a popular speech with the American people,” he said. “He offered a lot of stuff. Four trillion dollars will buy a lot of stuff, from millions of jobs to child-care to community health centers, all kinds of stuff, community colleges.
“Big corporations are going to pay for it,” Wallace added. “People making more than $400,000 are going to pay for it but the vast majority of people watching tonight aren’t.”
He went on to say that the Biden administration has made a “calculation” that, following the COVID-19 pandemic, “people come to have a different feeling about government” and that “they now feel more trusting and more in need of government.”
Wallace did note, however, that Biden’s pushing of the theme the federal government is there to help Americans would also turn “a lot of people off,” which co-anchor MacCallum agreed with.
After the other panelists spoke, MacCallum then swung it over to Domenech, co-founder of The Federalist, who took aim at Wallace right off the bat.
“The last time that I was on the air talking at the same time as Chris Wallace about a Joe Biden speech, he waxed eloquent about how it was so powerful and unifying,” Domenech began. “I don’t think that turned out to be true at all; I think it turned out to be a tissue of lies that Republicans rejected. It’s not something that actually led to any kind of bipartisanship. I expect the same result from this speech.”
Domenech then pivoted from calling out Wallace to criticizing Biden’s speech. “It is going to be a political blip, immediately forgotten. It is not going to change the course of anything in Washington which is a now mono-partisan affair under Joe Biden.”
“Strong letter to follow from Ben Domenech,” Baier said in response before moving on.
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