Fox News host Neil Cavuto on Wednesday grilled Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) over the lawsuit that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) intends to file against President Obama over his use of executive actions, and the segment quickly escalated into a shouting match.
Cavuto asked Bachmann if the outrage over executive actions is just a “political football” that one party uses against the other.
“Has the President overreached with his power? Absolutely, he has. What are the tools available to the United States Congress to help enforce the separation of powers doctrine? In other words, the Constitution is a stop sign for the President as it is for the Congress, as it is for the Supreme Court,” Bachmann responded.
But Cavuto pressed Bachmann on why the House is just now bringing the lawsuit and suggested taking the President to court would be a fruitless effort.
“Why not just fix things that are very, very wrong now rather than dragging someone to court over whether they overstepped their bounds? It just seems to me like an enormous waste of effort,” he said.
“This could drag on for months, and we may not get anywhere,” Bachmann admitted. “Again, it reflects the frustration of the American people and rightfully so.”
Cavuto continued to press Bachmann, asking her why she hadn’t already filed a lawsuit.
“Criminy, give me a second and I will tell you,” she exclaimed.
The shouting between the two took a turn for the worst when Bachmann called for Congress to defund Obama.
“What we should do right now is defund the executive branch when we have the option,” she said. “Cut it. Make it hurt. Because if they don’t have money, they won’t have power.”
She then began talking about the IRS scandal.
“Separate issue, Congresswoman. Separate issue,” Cavuto said. “You’re conflating issues and being silly.”
“Where was your rage with Democrats when Democrats were going after President Bush on the same use of executive orders?” he asked. “Because I think you knew then that was a waste of time then. I think you know in your heart of hearts this is a waste of time now.”
After some more back and forth, Bachmann again surfaced her idea to defund the executive branch.
“Defund? Think about what you’re saying,” Cavuto responded. “Defund the executive branch. Congresswoman! If Democrats had said we’re going to defund President Bush, you would have laughed them out. So you should have been. Acting Democrats would be in their right mind to laugh you out now.”
Bachmann was then cut off by a commercial break, for which Cavuto apologized when he returned.
“I apologize. We got a little heated in that segment,” he said. “Looks like I just cut off the Congresswoman. I apologize to her. I don’t apologize for my sentiment or the fact that we are wasting time filing lawsuits.”
Watch the exchange:
Video editing by Tom Kludt