Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner on Thursday allowed Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) to repeatedly push the lie that Democrats slashed hundreds of billions of dollars in funding for Medicare—even though that spurious claim had been debunked months ago.
In fact, not only did Faulkner—often labeled one of Fox’s “straight news” anchors—allow Scott’s falsehood to slide, she wondered how the Florida lawmaker would be able to work with Democrats since they’re “incapable of telling the truth.”
With the GOP now holding a slim majority in the House, the party has shifted much of its focus to austerity and pushing spending cuts across the board. Despite insisting during the midterms that they wouldn’t target Social Security and Medicare, House Republicans are now leveraging the fight over the debt ceiling to explicitly weigh proposals that would slash these entitlement programs.
Faulkner, who began her Thursday program by decrying the Democratic “spend, spend, spend” agenda amid rising debt, sounded the alarm over the “alarming” crisis facing entitlement programs. She aired a clip of President Joe Biden accusing Scott and Republicans of looking to reduce Social Security and Medicare.
“I don’t know one Republican, including me—we would never cut Medicare or Social Security. I’m gonna do everything I can to make sure there are no cuts in Medicare or Social Security,” the senator exclaimed. “But let’s remember, the Democrats, they all voted to cut $280 billion out of Medicare last September and Biden signed it.”
“Yes,” Faulkner empathically agreed.
“Let’s just remember—$280 billion they cut, and they want to say other people will do it,” Scott continued.
Though the Fox anchor heartily endorsed Scott’s assertion, fact-checkers knocked down this claim last year—which centers on provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act that allows Medicare to negotiate drug prices with manufacturers.
According to government budget scorers, the Democratic-led bill that passed last year would save taxpayers anywhere between $237 billion and $288 billion due to pharmaceutical companies agreeing to lower prices on medications for Medicare patients. Still, Scott—whose GOP policy agenda last year widespread drew widespread criticism for proposing to cut Social Security—insisted at the time that this was a reduction in benefits.
CNN anchor Dana Bash, meanwhile, pushed back against his talking points during an interview last October, telling Scott that the legislation “allowed for negotiation for prescription drug prices, which would ultimately bring down the price and the costs for Medicare consumers.”Faulkner, however, was content to let Scott’s lie stand on Thursday.
Having already agreed with him once, the Fox anchor teed the Florida Republican up for a second round by airing comments from a Fox Business host who accused Democrats of “lying through their teeth” about the debt ceiling and Republicans’ stance on entitlements.
“I have to get your reaction to that because you have to negotiate with these people and you hear Larry Kudlow describing Democrats as they’re incapable of telling the truth about what we owe,” Faulkner declared.
After Scott grumbled that “they are not going to be honest with the American public,” the wealthiest U.S. senator expressed concern that “Wall Street has done really well” while average Americans suffer.
“That’s a flip of what the rhetoric is, isn’t it?” Faulkner reacted. “Democrats are looking across the aisle at you as Republicans and saying we are the ones who care about the middle class and seniors, but now what we’re seeing is that’s not actually true!”
Scott then repeated his false claim about Medicare cuts.
“They cut Medicare, Harris! They cut Medicare just four months ago,” They cut $280 billion out of Medicare, and they wanna say we want to cut it? No, I’m gonna fight like hell to make sure we preserve Medicare and Social Security because we can, we should and we owe it to our seniors, but we have to do it by living within our means.”
Rather than correct the record, the Fox News anchor instead said that “everybody” has to live within a budget before moving on to Biden’s classified documents scandal.