A heated argument between Florida Republican Matt Gaetz and Chris Hahn went off the rails so quickly that Fox News host Laura Ingraham had to step in and referee.
Gaetz and Hahn, a former aide to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, squared off on the prospect of dramatic increases in mail-in voting during Thursday evening’s “Ingraham Angle.” (RELATED: Matt Gaetz Comes Out Swinging On ‘The View,’ Declares The ‘Death Of The Political Left’)
Ingraham began the segment with a reference to Democratic strategist James Carville and his recent claims that Republicans would “kill people to stay in power.”
“That was James Carville, everybody knows James,” Ingraham said. “That was a lot of fearmongering there. Is this a preview of how we are going to politicize this pandemic right up until Election Day?”
Gaetz was first to respond, saying, “In the most insincere of ways, because President Trump had a historic turnout on Election Day, so there may be some voices trying to scare down and suppress the Election Day vote.”
“What I can say for those who choose to vote by mail is there’s a low risk that their vote will be tampered with, so people who want to vote by mail showed, but in states that expand their vote by mail, there is a belief that there will be an increased opportunity for fraud,” Gaetz said, and Hahn appeared to scoff in response. “MIT professors have done studies to show that vote by mail actually has the highest propensity of fraud when compared to in person voting or early voting.”
Ingraham also noted comments from Attorney General William Barr, who was of the opinion that it was “not the right time to be experimenting with the way elections are conducted, that is through mail land and other kinds of techniques.”
Barr had also suggested that, by November, the landscape could be very different and that he expected polling places to be able to make any necessary adaptations to allow in-person voting to continue.
“Chris, that sounds pretty reasonable, 6 feet distance, wear a mask to vote,” Ingraham continued. “Why are people in the Democrat party jumping ahead to the fall already and trying to lay down new markers about voting?”
Hahn did not answer Ingraham’s question, instead turning the attack on Republicans. “I get why Republicans don’t want vote by mail,” he said. “Their entire plan is to suppress the vote and this is perfect for that plan, what we are doing right now. Scare people into thinking they might die at the polls.”
Hahn went on to argue that there was no proof of mass voter fraud in the vote-by-mail system, and suggested that, in the face of a pandemic, something had to be done.
“I find it rich — I find it rich that Congressman Gaetz is going to talk about politicizing after the stunt you pulled on the house floor with that gas mask. I hope are going to lend that to your constituents—” Hahn said.
“Give me a break,” Gaetz interrupted. “I was making a point that we should be concerned about it as congressmen because in Congress — we interact with a lot of people.” He went on to point out that members of Congress travel a lot, increasing their risk as well.
“Yeah, what point were you making, Matt?” Hahn scolded. “A lot of members of Congress have revisionist history.”
“Give me a break,” Gaetz protested.
“And nobody can hear this. Stop. Stop. Stop,” Ingraham cut in. “Nobody can hear it. This drives people crazy. It’s fine to make a point, make an aggressive point, but try not to talk over each other, drives me crazy and everybody else.”