In a Wednesday interview alternately described as “wild,” “surreal,” “strange” and “explosive,” New York mayor and 2020 presidential hopeful Bill de Blasio butted heads with longtime critic Sean Hannity on the latter’s namesake Fox News show.
De Blasio and Hannity spoke — and repeatedly clashed — on a range of hot button topics including taxation, healthcare, gun control, abortion and climate change. The two men often raised their voices during the debate, speaking over each other as they attempted to make their respective opinions heard.
“I’m never going to agree with you. You drive me crazy,” Hannity told de Blasio.
At one point during their chat, de Blasio shredded Hannity and Fox News as being “such a charade,” suggesting the host was using immigration to “distract” from other issues like income inequality.
“Oh, my network!” Hannity cut in. “By the way, there are people on my network that don’t like a single word I say! What are you talking about?”
“I agree you’re not a monolith,” responded de Blasio, who on the topic of immigration said he wanted “border security but not walls.”
“But too much of the time what Fox and News Corp do is try and take people’s minds off the fact they are being screwed economically by the one percent,” de Blasio continued.
Hannity later questioned de Blasio’s plan to slap higher taxes on wealthy Americans to address income inequality.
“Do you think that my money that I’ve earned and saved is in the wrong hands?” Hannity asked de Blasio.
The mayor replied: “Do you think right now your viewers feel that it’s OK that the wealthy have as much as they have and pay as little in taxes as they do? Do you think it’s OK that big corporations pay nothing in taxes?”
Hannity and de Blasio exchanged barbs throughout their conversation.
At one point, the host jokingly referred to de Blasio as a “jackass” after he told the mayor a story about doing well on a test to join the New York Police Department.
“Standards were lower back then,” de Blasio quipped.
“You’re such a jackass,” Hannity replied, while commending the mayor for the “good” burn.
De Blasio ― who Vox recently described as a “pretty unpopular figure in both local and national politics” ― had earlier raised eyebrows when he announced his impending appearance on “Hannity.”
The mayor explained to NY1 on Monday, however, that he hoped to reach more Americans through his appearance on the show.
“It does not in any way change my criticism of News Corp and Fox News,” de Blasio said, but “it’s also right to acknowledge that millions of millions of Americas are watching [Fox News] and we shouldn’t stereotype them.”
“I think it is important to challenge those right-wing voices, so I am not for a moment going to change what I think about that venue but, while we are having presidential elections, we have speak to all of America,” he said.
Watch part of Hannity’s interview with de Blasio here: