Fox News anchor Chris Wallace heaped praise on President Joe Biden’s first address before a joint session of Congress on Wednesday evening, predicting it would be a “popular speech” with most Americans. Moments later, an on-air colleague swooped in to take a jab at his analysis.
During Fox’s post-speech coverage, Wallace specifically cited Biden’s pitch for infrastructure and child-care spending plans as a reason why, in the anchor’s view, many Americans will come away with a positive view of the address.
“You know, I think this is going to be a popular speech with the American people,” the veteran newsman declared. “He offered a lot of stuff. Four-trillion dollars will buy a lot of stuff from millions of jobs to child care to community health centers, all kinds of stuff, community colleges.”
Wallace also suggested Biden’s promise that middle-class Americans will not see their taxes increased to pay for these plans would be “pretty popular.”
“Big corporations are going to pay for it,” Wallace noted. “People making more than $400,000 are going to pay for it but the vast majority of people watching tonight aren’t.”
The Fox News Sunday anchor went on to say that the administration has made a “calculation” that after the coronavirus pandemic “people come to have a different feeling about government” and that “they now feel more trusting and more in need of government.”
At the same time, Wallace said that pushing a message that the government is here to help could also turn “a lot of people off,” something fellow anchor Martha MacCallum agreed with.
Moments later, however, Fox News contributor and The Federalist founder Ben Domenech took a shot at Wallace’s analysis, bringing up the his past praise for Biden’s inaugural address.
“Last time I was on air talking at the same time as Chris Wallace about a Joe Biden speech, he waxed eloquently about how it was so powerful and unifying,” the right-wing pundit snarked. “I don’t think that turned out to be true at all, it turned out to be a complete issue of lies that Republicans rejected.”
Domenech continued: “It’s not something that led to any bipartisanship. I expect the same result from this speech. It’s going to be a political blip—immediately forgotten. It’s not going to change the course of anything in Washington, which is a now mono-partisan affair under Joe Biden.”
Following Biden’s inaugural address in January, Wallace claimed it was “the best inaugural address” he had ever heard and a “call to our better angels.” Wallace also took heat at that time from his Fox colleagues for his analysis, specifically from Greg Gutfeld, who roundly mocked and mimicked the longtime anchor.