Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner briefly lost it during a contentious interview with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) on Tuesday, taking strong issue with the centrist senator asking her if she’s afraid of Democrats doing “something good” for America.
“My father served,” an incensed Faulkner fired back at Manchin at one point, demanding that the West Virginia lawmaker not make it “personal.”
With Manchin taking a media victory lap after finally striking a deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to pass portions of President Joe Biden’s economic agenda, Fox News has quickly turned on their favorite Democrat. After praising him for months for tanking Biden’s Build Back Better legislation, the network’s “disappointed” hosts and commentators have groused about Manchin’s “betrayal.”
Appearing on The Faulkner Focus on Tuesday to explain his support for the newly named Inflation Reduction Act, Manchin parried most of Faulkner’s pointed questions about the bill’s tax structure, spending, and energy investments. For the most part, Manchin continued his appeal to the patriotism of both the anchor and the network’s viewers.
“We need more energy today so—we also need to invest in the energy for the future,” Manchin declared early in the interview. “This is a balanced approach everyone has been talking about. Everyone is upset for whatever reason because they are afraid it is a political bill. It is not a Democrat bill. Not a Republican bill. It is not a green deal. This is a red, white, and blue deal, Harris.”
Manchin also pushed back when Faulkner parroted Republican claims that the new legislation would raise taxes on middle-class Americans, noting that it merely requires large corporations to pay a minimum tax rate of 15 percent.
“Who is paying any taxes that doesn’t have a corporation that has revenue of over a billion dollars a year? Not one person,” the West Virginia senator replied.
“I am asking you a different question than you’re answering. I’m saying Americans $400,000 and below now are going to be taxed. Their taxes will go up,” Faulkner replied.
“That’s wrong,” Manchin retorted. “That’s a lie. A pure, outright lie.”
The conversation only grew more tense when Manchin taunted the Fox News host, at one point urging her to “be optimism” and “be an American” when she said experts predict US gas prices will rise around Labor Day.
Eventually, Faulkner brought up Manchin’s non-response when recently grilled by Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd on whether he wanted Democrats to stay in power after this year’s midterms. Insisting he didn’t dodge the question, Manchin instead said he is focused on getting his deal passed and is unconcerned with political races.
Faulkner, however, continued to press the issue, bringing up Biden’s low approval numbers while stating that “elections are going to need some help” for Democrats.
“Harris, are you scared that we’re going to do something good that will help our country?” Manchin shot back, prompting the Fox anchor to grow apoplectic.
“Of course not! My father served!” Faulkner shouted.
“Well, sounds like you are,” Manchin calmly interjected.
Are you kidding? Service is in the Bible!” Faulkner continued. “That’s what we do, we serve our fellow man and woman. Of course! Don’t make this personal, because it’s not.”
After that heated moment, Faulkner again pushed Manchin on the low approval ratings Biden is “rocking right now,” remarking that the West Virginia senator doesn’t sound very supportive of his own party.
“I work with what I have here in the majority party we have as a Democratic Party. I’m working with the president, who has accepted the proposal I put forward and negotiated,” Manchin responded. Balanced energy policy. It’s wonderful for our country. I know people who don’t like the president and don’t like Democrats might be upset. It is not whether you like the president or you like Democrats. Do you like America? Do you want to fight inflation? This bill does it.”