On Tuesday night, Glenn flew to Denver, CO to take part in DISH Network’s “War of the Words”, which saw him face off against prominent progressive and Current TV’s Eliot Spitzer. For over an hour, the two spoke out on the issues important to them and the country, covering everything from the economy, the role of government, the media, and healthcare.
Broadcast on DISH and Facebook, the event took place at the Fillmore Auditorium in Denver and was moderated by Ed Sardella.
In his opening statements, Glenn took time to thank DISH CEO Joe Clayton for bringing him to Denver before addressing the theme of the night’s event – “The War of the Words”. While that theme implied and even celebrated the inherent conflict between the two opposing political viewpoints, Glenn said it was important for people to stop arguing and start working together.
“I don’t believe in a war of the words,” Glenn said. “We listen to people argue with each other and it tears up apart. If I knew what I knew now ten years ago, I wouldn’t have said the things in the past the way I said them.”
“It’s important for us to listen to each other,” he argued.
Glenn also thanked DISH for putting TheBlaze in millions of homes across the country, noting that they took a chance on a network with a new attitude and outlook that was unlike anything in the mainstream media. He also touted his network’s autonomy, as it is funded by viewers and subscribers leaving him beholden to no one at the end of the day other than God.
In his opening comments, Governor Spitzer of Current TV claimed that America was in good shape and that President Obama was steering the country in an improved direction.
“I believe that we as a nation are stronger than ever,” Spitzer told the audience.
As the event got underway, Spitzer took a page from Glenn’s playbook by using several charts and visual aids to help demonstrate his point. Having left his chalkboard back in Dallas, Glenn at one point used a sharpie to draw a chart on his hand to illustrate his argument against Obamacare. Using the chart, Glenn explained the “Complete Lives System” and rationed care which would emerge as a result of socialized healthcare, and pointed out several recent examples in the news where medicine and treatment was being rationed as a result of government interference.
The philosophical divide between the two became clear when Sardella asked the hosts about their views on the role of government. Spitzer defended Obama’s “you didn’t build that” comments and called for a government that “enforces the rules”. He blamed the Bush administration for the recession that has plagued America since 2008, and said the burden was on big government to police businesses in orde to prevent another recession.
“That was nuts,” Glenn said after hearing Spitzer’s comments.
“Capitalism is great unless you unhook from morals and principles,” Glenn countered.
Glenn put the blame for the economic woes where they belonged – on the people in Washington and on Main Street who unplugged and made the bad choices that led to the collapse in the housing market. He said people have to take responsibility for bad loans, and the government has to take responsibility for enabling those choices.
“We unhooked from reality,” Glenn said.
Glenn said that America needs to redefine the word success and that success needs to tethered to principles. He also said that Americans need to be allowed to fail, and that it was only through his failure over a decade ago was he able to get the strength he needed to build a successful company and launch his own network.
“That happened through hard work and principles,” he said.
To close out the discussion, Spitzer once again reiterated a point that he had made through out the event: America was better off than it was four years ago because of Barack Obama’s leadership. Spitzer said he expected Obama to have a “huge victory” in the weeks ahead.
For his closing remarks, Glenn said that he simply was hoping that someone, either candidate, would speak the plain truth about what is going on in the world. He noted in particular that America’s leaders needed to acknowledge the true chaotic state of the Middle East and the failure of the Arab Spring.
But rather than say a politician would be the one to lead America over the coming years, Glenn said Americans needed to wake up and take responsibility for their own destinies.
“Stand up for what you believe in, you might end up being wrong. I might end up being one of those most incorrect men ever. Whatever. I stand up for what I believe in.”
“The engine of America is you,” Glenn concluded.