Democratic California Rep. Ro Khanna believes that appearing in conservative media allows members of his party to better think through their views on key issues, he explained in a Friday interview.
Khanna, who represents a district that supports Democrats by more than 40 points, regularly appears on Fox News and other conservative outlets. He recently appeared on the Daily Caller’s cross-ideologicalpodcast “Vince and Jason Save the Nation,” where he discussed U.S. policy towards China, the Build Back Better package, and racial issues. A member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Khanna told Politico’s Ryan Lizza that debating with conservative hosts forces Democrats to anticipate objections to their policies and can even get them to rethink some of their positions. (RELATED: Rep. Ro Khanna Breaks Down How Tech Jobs Can Save Small Town America In New Book)
“One of the reasons that our great politicians, Bill Clinton and Obama, were so effective is that they actually spent a lot of time in places where people didn’t agree with them,” Khanna said.
He cited a Tuesday appearance on “Your World With Neil Cavuto” in which the two debated Khanna’s proposal to tax oil companies 50% of the difference between their current per barrel price and the average price between 2015 and 2019. Khanna asserted that his bill would force larger companies to drop barrel prices, while Cavuto argued that the U.S. should increase exploration. The host also argued that Khanna’s bill was hypocritical for not targeting food companies and the technology sector.
— Neil Cavuto (@TeamCavuto) April 5, 2022
“Now I’m much better armed in thinking about those arguments. So I can have a better shot at convincing the independents in my district because I now have a response,” Khanna said of his debate with Cavuto. He noted a part of the exchange where the two debated President Joe Biden’s decision to cancel a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, shutting down the project.
Khanna argued that preventing Keystone XL from coming online would not impact current oil prices, since the project was not slated to be completed until early 2023. However, Cavuto pointed out that oil futures impact current prices.
“I gave an answer that wasn’t very compelling. Later on, I looked it up and what I should have said is, ‘Well, Keystone is less than 1 percent of production of oil price.’ But the point is, if I hadn’t gone on Fox News and I hadn’t subjected myself to that debate and I hadn’t probably lost the debate in that moment, I would never think of the counterarguments. I’d never think of the weaknesses in my own point of view,” the congressman reflected.
“I feel so much of the Democratic Party right now is, we say if they disagree with us, they’re morally wrong. And that’s not the American way,” Khanna added.