Fox News anchor Bret Baier on Tuesday called out conservatives for exhibiting some hypocrisy over President Donald Trump asserting he had “total” authority over states’ decisions, pointing out that their “heads would’ve exploded” if the previous president made similar remarks.
During an unhinged coronavirus briefing on Monday, the president insisted that he had absolute power when it comes to states’ social-distancing guidelines, claiming that he has authority over governors to decide when states should reopen amid the pandemic. Despite legal experts rebutting his assertion, the president doubled down on Tuesday and likened Democratic governors to mutineers.
Appearing on Fox News’ The Daily Briefing on Tuesday, Baier was asked by host Dana Perino to react to the growing back-and-forth between Trump and governors, especially with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo firing back at president’s claims.
“First of all, the Constitution is pretty clear,” Fox News’ chief political anchor replied. “Constitutional scholars will say that this is not the president flicking on the switch, it’s the governors and the local authorities that have that going forward.”
“I think that there’s hypocrisy here in that, one, if President Obama had said those words that you heard from President Trump, that the authority is total with the presidency, conservatives’ heads would’ve exploded across the board,” he continued.
At the same time, Baier felt that both sides have been hypocritical, noting that recently there was “a lot of coverage” asking why the president wasn’t calling for a national stay-at-home order.
“But now it’s, ‘No, he can’t open up,’” he added.
“The bottom line is that the president can really influence these governors and work with them,” Baier concluded. “As far as the top-down order, by the Constitution, you can’t do that. So it’s working with these governors to open it up in a rolling kind of open is what I imagine would happen.”
Baier calling out the right’s hypocrisy on Trump’s remarks came as one of his colleagues, Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume, brushed off the president’s declaration of absolute power as just “another of his serial exaggerations” that the media is giving too much attention to.