A right-wing radio host tried to humiliate Sen. Elizabeth Warren for her fight against wealth inequality and ended up hoisted on his own petard.
Massachusetts conservative radio host and birther conspiracy theorist Jeff Kuhner thought he had successfully ambushed Sen. Elizabeth Warren, turning a quick photo op into a question challenging her rhetoric on wealth inequality.
But showing the quick thinking that has made her a widely respected progressive champion, Warren expertly and politely demolished Kuhner, leaving him high and dry.
After Warren took a photo with him, Kuhner asked her, "How can you rail against the 1 percent when you are and live like the 1 percent?"
Warren patiently explained to the belligerent host that she was the beneficiary of a system that gave people like her a "ticket to try to make it into the middle class."
"I am deeply grateful to an America that made those opportunities possible," Warren said.
As she has often made clear, she told the host, "Those opportunities are not available in America today," and that she is fighting for people to be given the "opportunity" she and many others once had.
Kuhner desperately tried to make Warren's rational response an example of "hypocrisy," but the effort was limp and flat as the senator dismantled the premise of his attempted ambush.
KUHNER: I want to ask you one quick question. You often say, and I agree with you, that the 99 percent are getting shafted by the 1 percent. Let me ask you this: A lot of people, especially my listeners, say you live in Cambridge. You've got a $2 million mansion, plus you're a multimillionaire yourself. How can you rail against the 1 percent when you are and live like the 1 percent?
WARREN: So, let me make clear. I wasn't born in Cambridge. I was born into a family where my daddy had one job after another. He ended up as a janitor. My mom worked a minimum wage job at Sears. All three of my brothers went into the military. That was their ticket to try to make it into the middle class. For me, I wanted to be a public school teacher. There was not even enough money for an application to college, much less to be able to pay for college. Long and twisted story, I got married early.
KUHNER: And you made a million dollars, correct?
WARREN: I ended up graduating from a commuter college that cost $50 a semester. And I became a special needs teacher. And when I had a baby and started going to school part time at a state law school that cost $450 a semester, that's how I had opportunity, and I am deeply grateful to an America that made those opportunities possible. Those opportunities are not available in America today.
KUHNER: But you are a multimillionaire with a mansion in Cambridge.
WARREN: I had opportunities because America invested in kids like me, and that's the reason I'm in public office. It's so I can make sure that the next kid and the next kid —
KUHNER: But you're part of the 1 percent. You don't see the hypocrisy there?
WARREN: It's not hypocrisy. What this is about is whether you believe in opportunity or not. I believe in opportunity, and it's what I fight for.
Kuhner has been on the conservative scene for a while, and previously wrote a column in the poorly regarded Washington Times. On those pages, he made absurd allegations, arguing that President Barack Obama had "unleashed class hatred and racial hostility,"calling climate change a "hoax," and accusing Martin Luther King Jr. of having a "dark side" by being a "radical leftist."
Now he appears on Massachusetts' WRKO radio and tries to ambush Democratic senators who make him look like a fool.