Fox News host Chris Wallace marked the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's murder by first suggesting to members of the Kennedy family that he was "quite conservative" and then by following up with a second segment to drive home the point.
"There is a growing body of thought that, in fact, President Kennedy was quite conservative in some of his policies," Wallace insisted to Kathleen Townsend Kennedy, the former president's niece. "He was a fierce Cold Warrior, he believed that tax cuts spur the economy."
Townsend Kennedy pointed out that at the time President Kennedy advocated cutting taxes, the top marginal rates were at 90 percent.
"So he lowered it to 70 percent," she explained. "One could say, 90 percent to 70 percent is not down to 22 percent, where we are now. So, I think he was a smart guy, and balanced."
The Fox News host then asked nephew Patrick Kennedy if the "disastrous" roll-out of President Barack Obama's health care reform law meant that "big government solutions" had failed.
"I think President Kennedy was so universally beloved because his message was such idealism," Patrick Kennedy observed. "It was setting the goals. Obviously in our own lives and the life of our government, we're not always that efficient in achieving the goals we set for ourselves. But the goal is right."
Following a commercial break, Wallace asked his panel for their thoughts on the former president and "this growing notion that he, in fact, espoused a lot of conservative values."
"His record was rather thin," conservative columnist George Will insisted. "What his death did is it gave rise to a narrative that America was somehow deeply flawed because of this."
"I think he was the coolest president we ever had," Fox News contributor Brit Hume opined. "I think, however, despite the thinness of the record that you just mentioned and that George mentioned, he has been the subject of the most successful public relations campaign in political history."
"It is a legend bordering, I think, on myth," Hume added.
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