Fox News host Pete Hegseth fired back at Democratic Texas state Rep. James Talarico when he tried to spin a Tuesday interview back on former President Donald Trump.
Talarico appeared on “Fox News Primetime” after he joined with a number of Democrats in the Texas legislature who fled the state and traveled to Washington, D.C., to deny Republicans the necessary quorum to pass a voter integrity measure. When Hegseth asked him — repeatedly — to explain why he opposed voter ID, Talarico ignored the question and instead attempted to interview Hegseth about his support for Trump. (RELATED: Texas Democrats Grab Some Miller Lites And Go On Maskless Flight To Save Democracy From Big Bad Republicans)
Hegseth asked Talarico about voter integrity and why he was opposed to voter ID measures, asking, “You don’t think the most sacred obligation of our republic — you should have to prove who you are in order to vote?”
“So there are a lot of Texans, actually hundreds of thousands who don’t have a driver’s license,” Talarico claimed.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, who can’t — do they have a social security number?” Hegseth pushed back, noting that the law allowed Texans to use the last four digits of their social security numbers in place of a physical identification card when voting. “Help me out, do those people not have Social Security numbers?”
Talarico did not answer, instead alleging that the new Texas bill would reduce voting hours and allow for partisan poll watchers.
“Texas says maybe we should have partisan poll watchers on either side, Republicans and Democrats, right, it wouldn’t just be Republicans,” Hegseth replied.
“You remember a second ago we talked about the ‘big lie’, this is exactly what I’m talking about. You just —” Talarico attempted to change the subject again.
“You went on national television, James, and —” Hegseth argued, but Talarico continued to accuse him of repeating “the lie over and over again.”
“We’re not talking about that. You just went on national television and said you don’t want voter ID,” Hegseth did not let the issue drop, adding, “It’s so condescending to say that people can’t get identification. Have you found someone in your district that can’t get identification?”
Talarico tried again to redirect the conversation and make it about Trump and Hegseth. “You have made a lot of money personally and you have enriched a lot of corporations with advertising by getting on here and spewing lies and conspiracy theories to folks who trust you, and so what I’m asking you to do is tell your voters right now that Donald Trump lost the election in 2020,” he said.
“At least you’ve resolved the lie that Democrats are now for voter ID,” Hegseth pushed back.
“Do you agree he lost the election in 2020? Can you answer the question? Did Donald Trump lose the election in 2020?” Talarico ignored the continued questions about voter ID.
“I think I’m asking the questions,” Hegseth shot back. “I don’t feel any obligation to answer any question for you.”
Hegseth then pointed out that Talarico was in Washington while his job was in Texas — and argued that the bill he and his colleagues were protesting was going to pass eventually no matter what he did.
“Eventually you’re going to have to pay your hotel bill and go back to Texas and Governor Abbott will declare a special session. You are being used by national Democrats to try to pass HR-1 to federalize elections that you as a Harvard grad should know better,” Hegseth added, pointing out the Constitutional provision that gave states the power to control elections. “I don’t understand how you square that circle.”
“The reason this is different they are trying to rig the rules of the game,” Talarico protested.
“Oh, rig the rules of the game. I see. Asking people to prove who they are,” Hegseth did not appear to be convinced.
The two continued to butt heads until the interview ended, at which point Hegseth responded simply, “Wow. That was interesting.”