Trump-boosting Fox News anchor Maria Bartiromo chastised Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) on Sunday over his support of the broadly popular bipartisan infrastructure bill that is on the verge of passage, asking him point-blank if he’s “betraying the Republican base” while complaining that the spending package doesn’t include money for a border wall.
With the long slog to passing the trillion-dollar bill finally nearing the finish line—and GOP negotiators saying that up to 18 Republican senators have indicated they support the package—Cramer appeared on Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures to explain why he was going to vote for one of President Joe Biden’s top priorities.
Bartiromo, however, was absolutely incensed that Cramer—a longtime ally of former President Donald Trump—was on board with the legislation. And she didn’t waste any time letting him know that.
After quoting conservative columnist Kimberly Strassel’s criticism that the bill is nothing more than “step one of President Biden’s Green New Deal,” the Fox host turned to Cramer and asked: “Senator, why are you in favor of this bill, are you betraying the Republican base?”
Laughing off her pointed question, Cramer defended his support of the bill by noting that the package directs a lot of spending towards “hard” infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, and railroads. On top of that, the North Dakota lawmaker pointed out that this was the result of a compromise between Democrats and Republicans.
Cramer added that Strassel’s analysis of the bill was inaccurate, prompting Bartiromo to fire back that he was “wrong” before blasting the bill for spending money on electric vehicles and cybersecurity, claiming that the bill had a “lot of beginnings to the Green New Deal.” Furthermore, she grumbled that the infrastructure package didn’t address border security and immigration.
“First of all, cybersecurity is not exclusive to the Green New Deal,” Cramer retorted. “We all experienced problems with lack of resiliency to energy infrastructure. The Colonial Pipeline cyber-attack was a pretty good example of that.”
The ultra-conservative lawmaker went on to say that there were obviously things in the bill that Democrats like and he doesn’t. At the same time, he explained that if he were “a king” he wouldn’t support some of the provisions of the package, but “fortunately our founders gave us something other than a king.”
“You’re not a king, none of the Republicans are king, but certainly seems like the Democrats act like kings,” Bartiromo groused.
The conversation would continue to circle back to Bartiromo’s complaints that the bill didn’t include border funding, resulting in Cramer eventually stating that the Republicans obviously aren’t going to get Democrats to agree to build a wall.
“Why not?! Why not work for the American people,” an incredulous Bartiromo shot back.
Eventually, Bartiromo brought up Trump’s recent efforts to kill the infrastructure bill with statements and threats of primary challenges, something that has been met with “mostly yawns” from GOP lawmakers.
Reading off Trump’s latest tweet-like remarks in which he said the infrastructure bill will be used against the GOP in 2022 and 2024 and he can’t see himself endorsing any Republican who supported it, the Fox host asked Cramer to react to the disgraced ex-president’s threat.
“He didn’t give one reason why it’s a bad deal other than it’s Joe Biden’s,” Cramer responded. “I understand his frustration and he obviously has influence and has a legitimate opinion. But the fact of the matter is the American public, including the vast majority of Republicans, are very supportive of this.”
Bartiromo, meanwhile, would essentially concede that despite Trump’s attempts to hamstring the deal, the popular legislation was almost certainly going to pass.
“I recognize there’s a lot of support for this on both sides, definitely a lot of support on this. I get that,” she sighed.