MSNBC host Ali Velshi and former Republican governor John Kasich got into a verbal pushing match Sunday while debating the proposed budget deal and if the wealthy should pay more in taxes. The end result: an all-out squabble after Velshi said Florida and Texas are “horrible places to live.”
While Kasich pointed out how high taxes in states like New York are leading many to flock to “fastest growing states” like Florida and Texas, Velshi interjected to push back on the apparent quality of life in the red states.
“Low taxes, Governor, but horrible places to live in terms of gun violence, in terms of being able to get an abortion, in case you’re gay, in case you want to go to the library and get a book,” Velshi said. “I would much rather not live in these places. But I get you — they’re cheaper, taxes are really low, but they’re kinda horrible places to live.”
Kasich took issue with Velshi describing the states as horrible and pushed back. “What is going on in Florida in terms of the cultural issues, I don’t agree with the way they’re approaching it,” Kasich said, underlining that, “People are going to Florida — it’s not a horrible place, Ali.”
“You don’t wanna say Florida is horrible or Tennessee is horrible,” Kasich continued while Velshi interjected to say that though the beaches in Florida are fantastic, “if you’re gay or you’re trans or you’d like your freedom to read books or have an abortion, it is actually a horrible place.”
Kasich attempted to revert the conversation back to taxes, telling Velshi, “You’re getting off the subject — the subject is about taxes.”
After Velshi pushed back that the discussion of Florida and Texas is relevant to the ongoing debates on taxes, Kasich put up his hands up and said, “Can I finish, Ali? Can I finish my thought?”
“You’re dropping a lot of thoughts that require challenge, sir,” Velshi responsed. “You know I love having you on the show, you got a lot of experience, but you’re saying a lot of things that I got to challenge you on.”
Unable to edge back into the conversation, Kasich expressed his frustrating, saying, “I feel like I used to be at another place here. Can I finish my thought here? That’s all I want to do.”
The two continued to speak over one another until Kasich paused in frustration.
“Ali, I don’t think you really want to have a discussion here,” he said before Velshi insisted he did, indeed, what to have that discussion. “OK then, let me finish,” Kasich insisted, attempting to revert the debate.
“You said, they are horrible places to live, I don’t agree with that,” Kasich said. “This all came about because you said, why are we not raising taxes on corporations and on people? And I am saying to you when you raise taxes too high, you discourage people from doing what they want to do.”
You can watch the full clip above.