Hannity, de Blasio spar over taxes, meatless Mondays

Hannity, de Blasio spar over taxes, meatless Mondays
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New York Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioMayor de Blasio, the small business killer The Hill's Morning Report - Trump touts new immigration policy, backtracks on tax cuts De Blasio's video snafu earns laughter in Iowa MORE (D) squared off with Fox News host Sean HannitySean Patrick HannitySarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor Trump's latest plan to undermine Social Security Trump calls Juan Williams 'pathetic,' 'always nasty and wrong' MORE on Wednesday night in a wide-ranging interview that delved into topics such as tax rates for the wealthy and meatless Mondays in city schools.

The appearance by the Democratic presidential candidate comes as he has struggled in the polls, averaging just 0.2 percent in the RealClearPolitics average. He has not qualified for the next Democratic primary debate scheduled for mid-September.

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“Do you think that my money, that I’ve earned and saved, is in the wrong hands?” Hannity asked while noting that de Blasio said during the July Democratic debate that he wants to "tax the hell out of the wealthy."

De Blasio responded by asking Hannity if “your viewers feel that it’s OK that the wealthy have as much as they have and pay as little in taxes as they do? Do you think it’s OK that big corporations pay nothing in taxes? Amazon is one."

De Blasio has proposed a 70 percent tax rate on wealthy Americans.

Hannity challenged de Blasio to explain why he favors tax-funded health care for immigrants in New York City who are in the United States illegally.

“I want everybody who’s here to get health care. Because what’s happening right now? Folks go to the emergency room because they don’t have a doctor. And who’s paying for it? The same taxpayers,” de Blasio said.

Hannity also pressed de Blasio about his support for what's known as meatless Mondays in New York City schools. The program involves providing students one meatless lunch per week. 

"You know how I know #MeatlessMondays is a good idea? Because our students love it and Sean Hannity hates it," de Blasio wrote in March. "Meatless Mondays: coming to all 1,800 NYC schools this fall."

Hannity had mocked the idea on his TV and radio programs at the time.
 
On Wednesday, he challenged de Blasio to a bet, arguing that if a poll were taken of all schoolchildren in the city, they would support a Hannity meal plan, which he jokingly said includes McDonald's Mondays and Wendy's Wednesdays, over de Blasio's meatless Mondays.

"You willing to put money on that?" Hannity asked.

"You really are a threat to society," the mayor joked in return.
 
De Blasio then went on to say that "by doing this, we are helping kids to be healthier."
 
"We have an obesity problem in this country," he added.
 
Before doing the interview, de Blasio defended his decision to appear on the network. The Democratic National Committee earlier this year said it would not allow Fox News to air any of its primary debates.
 
“Millions and millions of Americans are watching and we shouldn’t stereotype them," de Blasio told NY1, a local cable news station in New York City, on Monday. "A lot of those folks watching are working people who are listening to change in one form or another. And I think it's important to challenge those right-wing voices. And while we're having a presidential election, we have to speak to all of America."
 
Several Democratic presidential candidates have agreed to do Fox News town halls, including Sen. Bernie SandersBernie Sanders2020 candidates have the chance to embrace smarter education policies Bernie Sanders Adviser talks criminal justice reform proposal, 'Medicare for All' plan Poll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona MORE (I-Vt.), Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharOvernight Defense: Two US service members killed in Afghanistan | Trump calls on other nations to take up fight against ISIS | Pentagon scraps billion-dollar missile defense program ABC unveils moderators for third Democratic debate Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill MORE (D-Minn.) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegPoll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona ABC unveils moderators for third Democratic debate National poll finds tight race between Biden, Sanders and Warren MORE.