A recent interview by CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo has been getting traction on both left-leaning and right-leaning sites since it originally aired on Thursday, with some throwing up their hands in applause and others saying she should apologize.
Bartiromo was interviewing Democratic Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland about the “fiscal cliff’ debates, and started off the discussion with a question that has been on the minds of many Americans for months (if not years).
“Are you guys incompetent, or what?” she askes the senator, noting that both Republicans and Democrats accuse each other of not having a “balanced approach.”
“I mean, if you can’t do this, if you can’t do what the American people pay you to do, why don’t you just step aside and put somebody in there who can actually get a deal done?” she continued in a no-nonsense tone.
After Cardin blames Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner for preventing the process from “moving forward,” saying Democrats have been ready, Bartiromo proceeds with little patience and little expectation of a straight answer:
“So how come you’re not moving forward? What’s the problem? Because the American people are so tired of this, and they are really tired of the lawmakers thinking that the American people are stupid. You can’t keep coming on the show every week saying the same thing– ‘it’s not a balanced approach.'”
Laughing in disbelief and shaking her head as Cardin says his party has been ready for six months to a year to “move forward,” Bartiromo sticks her hand toward the screen and interrogates the senator, asking if he would be willing to amend the tax code to obtain the additional revenue the government is demanding.
When Cardin fumbles and replies “no” to all her questions, she summarizes: “You’re talking about $1.2 trillion in revenue, but you’re not prepared to put anything on the table. People are not stupid!”
But when Cardin repeats the Democrat line of raising taxes on the rich to solve the crisis, Bartiromo got to the crux of the matter and dismissed the sitting senator:
“That’s all you want to do. That’s it. It’s your way or the highway. Raise the rates on the rich. No other way. Your way or the highway. That’s it…That’s where we are. Thank you, Senator.”
Cardin complains that Bartiromo didn’t let her answer the questions, and she responds that he’s answered them “clearly.”
After the interview, the floor erupts in applause for Bartiromo and she laughs, burying her face in her hand.
“Traders on the floor have been watching the show, that’s all I’m gonna say,” she says with a laugh.
Watch the segment, via CNBC, below: