Political analysts Kirsten Powers and Charles Krauthammer got into a tense exchange last week, arguing over the definition of the term "neocon."
Krauthammer asserted on the Fox News "Special Report" panel that the term is meaningless and challenged someone to provide a definition for it.
"Charles, you know what a neocon is," Powers told him. "I mean, this is kind of silly—."
"It is not," contributor Steve Hayes interjected.
"You both know what a neocon is and you both know neoconservatives—," Powers said.
"Can you define it," Krauthammer interjected.
Powers was seemingly baffled by her co-panelists' position.
"They're people who mostly used to be liberals, who became Republicans over foreign policy, they are more hawkish on foreign policy, Irving Kristol, is a neocon. You're a neocon!" she told Krauthammer. "You acting like we don't know — like there are no neocons?"
A few moments later, host Bret Baier asked if the definition is "someone who always wants to go to war."
"Somebody who, I think, is hawkish on foreign policy—," Powers said before being cut off.
"Is Hillary Clinton a neocon?" Bayer asked.
"Wait, wait, wait, guys, can I finish a sentence?" Powers shot back. "It is somebody who I think is hawkish on foreign policy and who had a view — maybe the view has changed — for a quite a period of time that we could spread democracy. I think they were behind the 'democracy-spreading' idea that George W. Bush endorsed, that we could remake the middle east through American power."
Later, Krauthammer said that to speak of Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice and others as neocons is "preposterous."
"I didn't though!" Powers erupted. "That's the thing that is really starting to frustrate me. I never said those people were neocons."
The panel quickly moved to clarify, saying that they were talking about Kentucky Senator Rand Paul's view, now Powers.
"He didn't name anybody!" Powers pointed out.
"That's the point," Hayes responded.
The conversation occurred last week during a post-show discussion. It was just uploaded online by a politics-oriented website Thursday.
(H/T: Real Clear Politics)
Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter