The American Dream and optimism for a better future is a tense subject that can illicit fireworks in the political theater, as was the case on Fox News Monday during “American Live with Megyn Kelly.”

A Rasmussen Report released Sunday found that just 14 percent of Americans expect that today’s children will be better off than their parents, with 65 percent of Americans participating in the telephone survey believing they will not be better off. Another Rasmussen Reports poll released last week showed similarly dismal results from Americans on long-term optimism about the U.S. Economy, with only 31 percent of American adults believing that the U.S. economy will be stronger in one year, 35 percent predicting a weaker economy by next year and 18 percent saying it will be about the same. These statistics opened discussion moderated by Kelly Monday between conservative radio host Mike Gallagher and Democratic Party strategist Simon Rosenberg.

Rosenberg first commented that the poll on the future for American children sets the stage for major decisions voters will have to make this fall on who can restore faith with the electorate. From there, Gallagher decided to “happily make it a partisan issue,” pointing out that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney can tap into this worry about the long-term future of the country to engage younger voters who did not see the hope and change that they expected from the Obama administration and what Gallagher describes as the president’s “disastrous leadership.”

Rosenberg responded that the poll reflected American sentiments following a decade of “geopolitical change” and economic distress in America: from slow job growth in 2001, the housing crisis in 2006 and financial collapse in 2008.  Following criticisms from Gallagher towards the end of Rosenberg’s statement, Kelly pivoted the discussion to another Rasmussen poll that showed only 28 percent of Americans think it’s still possible for anyone in this country to work hard and get rich, bringing the discussion to the president’s controversial “you didn’t build that” remarks earlier in the month.

Gallagher described the comment as evidence of the president being “openly hostile and antagonistic” towards the American Dream, going on to bash “this class warfare garbage that Democrats have been engaged in.”

“This idea that somehow Barack Obama is against the American Dream–there’s probably no greater embodiment of what can happen in America than Barack Obama’s own story,” said Rosenberg, before Gallagher interjected: “What’s the American Dream Simon?”

“Let me finish” yelled back Rosenberg. “I find this conversation insulting,” the former Clinton advisor went on to say. “There is no greater embodiment of the American Dream than Barack Obama.”

“I don’t blame you for being angry Simon, you’re barking up a tree–no one’s buying what your saying,” responded Gallagher, with Rosenberg cross-commenting ”Forty-nine percent of the American people dude.”

Somehow the panel was able to close on a note of mutual appreciation for some of former President Ronald Reagan’s comments at the 1992 Republican National Convention:

“My fondest hope for each one of you — and especially for the young people here — is that you will love your country, not for her power or wealth, but for her selflessness and her idealism. May each of you have the heart to conceive, the understanding to direct, and the hand to execute works that will make the world a little better for your having been here.

May all of you as Americans never forget your heroic origins, never fail to seek divine guidance, and never lose your natural, God-given optimism.”

Watch video footage from the segment put together by Mediaite: 

“Real News From The Blaze” had a lively discussion on The American Dream in the Age of Obama earlier in the month.