Eat Chef Boyardee? Midterms summed up by top Democrat’s ‘clueless’ inflation comment, critics say

on Nov7
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The whole of the 2022 midterm election cycle can be summed up by one controversial sentiment expressed this weekend by a top House Democrat who runs that caucus’ campaign arm, Dana Perino said on “The Five” said Monday.

New York Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney – a Democrat from Putnam County running in a redrawn district that now includes Rockland County, where his Republican opponent sits in the state assembly – made waves when he suggested families eat Chef Boyardee canned pasta during a discussion on inflation.

“I grew up in a family where if the gas price went up, the food price went down, so by this time of the week we’d be eating Chef Boyardee if that budget wasn’t gonna change – So that’s what families have to do,” he said during an interview with Westchester’s Halston Media.

On “The Five,” Perino said Maloney’s comments summarize the election in one sentiment from the left.

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NYACK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 29: Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) greets former President Bill Clinton aduring a rally Nyack Veteran's Memorial Park on October 29, 2022 in Nyack, New York. 

NYACK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 29: Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) greets former President Bill Clinton aduring a rally Nyack Veteran’s Memorial Park on October 29, 2022 in Nyack, New York. 
(Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

“I think if you could put the entire election cycle into one clip, it would have been this one about Chef Boyardee — because [Maloney] is in charge of getting other Democrats elected,” she said. “This election is about the inflation and the economy.”

In response to Maloney, his opponent, Assemblyman Michael Lawler, R-Suffern, said he had a “better idea” than eating Chef Boyardee: “Let’s fire Sean Maloney and reduce inflation.”

Perino said Maloney’s comments are reminiscent of other top-tier Democrats who made similar tone-deaf remarks perceived as derisive or uncaring toward suffering Americans.

She cited Biden climate czar John Kerry once suggesting displaced energy workers find a green job.

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Assemblyman Mike Lawler, R-Rockland, Republican candidate for the 17th congressional district, speaks at a news conference at the Westchester County Courthouse in White Plains Oct. 12, 2022.

Assemblyman Mike Lawler, R-Rockland, Republican candidate for the 17th congressional district, speaks at a news conference at the Westchester County Courthouse in White Plains Oct. 12, 2022.
(Reuters)

In 2021, Kerry defended Biden’s climate platform saying that the president wants these laid off workers to “have better choices… alternatives, that they can be the people to go to work to make the solar panels.”

Perino also pointed to comments from Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg regarding purchasing electric vehicles.

“They want to let them bike to work, put on a sweater, basically, because the heating oil is going to be so high,” Perino said, adding that Maloney’s and Kerry’s comments are not one-off instances but evidence or a larger Democrat messaging strategy.

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Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, who heads the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, feels his party has a "likability problem."

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, who heads the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, feels his party has a “likability problem.”
(Jacquelyn Martin/Pool via REUTERS)

“[This] is why Hilary Rosen, a longtime Democratic strategist, is saying, ‘wow, we are in bad shape’,” she said.

‘Five’ co-host Jeanine Pirro, who once served as district attorney in one of the counties the Maloney-Lawler seat encompasses, said he and others are entirely “clueless.”

“He’s going to lose to Mike Lawler,” Pirro predicted of the DCCC chairman.

Jesse Watters later added that Maloney is supposed to be a “smart” member of the caucus and not make a “Squad-gaffe like that,” adding that Democrats further have suggested straphangers just not listen to music on the subway to be able to sense potential criminal attackers.

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“Here’s how that is: We don’t have a plan. You deal with inflation, you eat cheap slop,” Watters said.

Citing liberals’ references to a Republican takeover being a “threat to democracy,” Watters said that by definition the true threat would be elected Democrats not representing the will of their constituents.

“You’re supposed to go out there and represent the people. It’s a representative democracy. Imagine after 9/11, George W. Bush came out and campaigned in that midterm on entitlement reform. And the country is dying to talk about terrorism,” he said.



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