Conservative commentator Bill Cunningham and Democratic consultant Joe Trippi joined Sean Hannity’s show last night to discuss the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative and Tea Party groups.
The three repeatedly clashed while discussing the scandal and the level to which calculated tactics may have been used to cripple the Tea Party’s efforts during the 2012 election.
Throughout the discussion, Cunningham charged the IRS with essentially assisting President Barack Obama’s re-election prospects, at one point asking Trippi if he agreed that the scenario could be viewed as a “damnable cover-up.” Wasting no time in responding, the Democratic operative said, “No Bill, I don’t.”
The on-air spat that followed is worth watching, as Cunningham seemed to maintain that the IRS scandal was more than simply an error perpetuated by a few individuals. Here’s how Mediaite frames the overall discussion:
Hannity pointed out that the current acting head of the IRS was just that, an acting head, and therefore the resignation is purely symbolic. He said that the American people had a right to know about this before the 2012 election, with Cunningham saying that the White House resorted to “Chicago-style politics” after a crushing defeat in the 2010 midterms in order to do well in the next cycle. He claimed that the IRS was keeping Tea Party groups too busy to recruit millions more voters for Mitt Romney.
Cunningham declared that the IRS was in the business of “electing Obama,” and touted how even some liberals are piling on Obama for lying on Benghazi. Trippi hesitated to join that crowd, and said that unlike with the IRS and AP scandals, Benghazi has remained a highly partisan issue with Democrats giving it far less credence than the other scandals. Cunningham and Hannity agreed that all three scandals share the common themes of abuse of power and getting Obama reelected.
Watch the clash below:
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