Pete Hegseth Talks to OutKick About Attacks on CPAC Speech, The Value of Everyday Americans

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Every once in a while, the media and Twitter turn their aim toward a new name to cancel, shame and ruin. This week, Fox & Friends Weekend co-host Pete Hegseth is public enemy No. 2 (after Trump, of course) for his CPAC speech that mentioned average Americans and the 10th Amendment. CNN is particularly furious.

Luckily, unlike Dr. Seuss Enterprises, Hegseth is not bowing to the mob. So, I spoke to him about it:

Bobby Burack: Your name is in the news because of your CPAC speech. The mainstream media hated it. I’ll get into why I think that is in a bit, but why do you think it’s your speech that has garnered so much attention, not the others (excluding Trump)?

Pete Hegseth: Bobby, the reaction to my CPAC speech shows the hypocrisy of the Left, and they need to be pushed back at. I said that when I talk to average Americans in small diners, the issues they care about are the First Amendment, the Second Amendment, the 10th amendment, faith, family, freedom and hard work, not what the mainstream media is worried about. And to that, the blue checkmarks, the Left-wingers, the media types on the Left lost their minds. Their heads exploded.

The media and the elites in this country are so furious I mentioned the 10th Amendment. These elites think I’m lying, that I don’t talk to people in diners or about the 10th Amendment because it is too abstract for anyone not them to understand. They say, ‘No way is Pete talking to real people. He doesn’t go to diners.’ Actually, it’s part of my job, and many people understand the 10th Amendment.

What really got them going, I said that the average American is not talking about the esoteric issues the Ivy League is. They are not talking about intersectionality all the time. The average American is hardworking, and the media couldn’t take it. They said, ‘How dare Pete bash the Ivy League? He went to Princeton and Harvard.’  Yes, I did, and I learned what it has done to the Americans who went there. Going to those places changed my mind about these schools. I learned way more, way more from the military.

The whole reaction I’ve received is textbook hyperventilation of the Left based on zero information. They have a completely condescending view of average Americans — whom they don’t know, by the way. They don’t interact with those people. They don’t know what they think. CNN doesn’t want to hear it, but when I’m out at these diners for Fox & Friends — one my main assignments — when the cameras are off, we talk about life, family, the Bible, and the fear that the First Amendment is being taken away.

Those of you at MSNBC and CNN are busy talking about how bad America is, how dumb Americans are, that anyone who supported President Trump is deplorable. You need to be exposed.

Burack: Pete, what made me interested in this story is that I’ve written about this situation for two years now. The biggest threat to corporate America, CNN, MSNBC, and ESPN (which I’ve covered the longest) is the average American. The voters who they don’t control. The Americans that don’t fall in line. That’s who they fear. That’s the origin of this story. The voices you referenced are normal Americans starting work at 6 am, not the elites who get two-hour lunch breaks. 

Hegseth: Bobby, you are so right. The Americans they silence are the ones who pay the taxes, who obey the law, who lawfully maintain their Second Amendment right, who want to maintain the responsibility of speaking freely. Most of all, they use common sense, not what they are told to believe. There’s no doubt why I’m the focus of CNN segments now, and that’s why. The people I stood up for and represented support the police. They just want their kids to get a good education.

Bobby, as you said, when average people are given a voice, that’s the most dangerous thing to the elites. It’s exactly why Donald Trump was so dangerous. He listened to average people, and he heard their grievances. These people are getting railroaded.

The CNN woman (Brianna Keilar, whose segment on Hegseth is here) who attacked me yesterday and her colleagues are afraid of the everyday American. They want to rip their cultures away from them. The Left is trying to prevent the construction workers in North Carolina from having a voice, the bus driver in Illinois. I won’t let that happen. We are going to be in North Carolina tomorrow. I packed my Princeton shirt. I’m going to wear it. Maybe I’ll do what the elites do and wear it around so everyone knows I’m an Ivy Leaguer, that I’m better than everyone else, that I understand the 10th Amendment. It’s all garbage. I’m not proud of being an Ivy Leaguer, I’m proud that I’m an American.

These folks on the Left deserve to be talked back to their faces because they truly do think they’re better than average people, and it’s disgusting. 

Burack: Twitter and hosts on CNN took issue that you work for Fox News and spoke at a conservative event. To that, you say what?

Hegseth: Look, Bobby, you know this, I don’t pretend to be anything I’m not. I’m a conservative. I’m a veteran. I’m not a journalist. I don’t hide my biases. I let the viewers know exactly who I am. The woman on CNN yesterday who went after me doesn’t do that. She will claim she’s down the middle, but she’s not.

The target is on those of us who admit who we are, those of us who don’t lie about being in the middle when we are not. What frustrates people about the channels they work for is that they’re fraudulent about their representation. I’m not.

If a CNN host speaks at a liberal event, which they do, they won’t be upfront about it.

I was honored to be invited to CPAC, to talk about the country and use some military analogies. As you’ve said, I take so much pride in that.

The one lesson I hope conservatives take away from that is to be the party of the working class people and don’t be the party of the boardroom. Don’t be the party of the Ivy League. Don’t get the country club.

Burack: You told me last year in an interview that you are sending your Harvard degree back. What is your full view on these elite institutions today?

Hegseth: People can open up my book, the chapter about elitism. It starts with a quote from Thomas Sowell: ‘The road to hell is paved with Ivy League degrees.’ That’s how I feel about the degrees. They are poison.

At one point, there was a reason why the Ivy Leagues were considered elite institutions. Hundreds of years ago, they did believe in the Western tradition, and they did teach fate and capitalism. They at least were grounded in Judeo-Christian, Western values. They’ve become complete indoctrination camps of the Left. Completely. And it’s not just the Ivy League. It’s all of higher academia. And so why would I hold up my degree? It’s not affirming anything. It represents poisoning America’s civic culture. I learned that after attending. Apparently, that somehow makes me less able to critique it? I would argue that as someone who’s been to those institutions, I’m probably in a better place to critique their utility today than most other people.

There’s a club, ‘Oh, you went to the Ivy League. We will take care of you. We will make you rich.’ It’s almost like being a whistleblower, right? If you’re a whistleblower, oftentimes the system comes down on you. I guess that’s how I feel, like I’m one of a group of Ivy League whistleblowers. It’s all a big sham.

The military taught me so much more than the Ivy League did.

Burack: Finally, you left Twitter earlier this year. Is it permanent?

Hegseth: Yes. I’m not coming back to Twitter. I’m all for robust debate, but Twitter doesn’t allow that. It’s all a slanted sham. I’m happily liberated from that world. I’m not coming back.

Follow Bobby Burack on Twitter.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack is a writer for OutKick where he reports and analyzes the latest media topics as well as trending sports, cultural and political stories.

Burack has become a prominent voice in media and has been featured on several shows across OutKick and industry related podcast and radio stations.

Previously, Burack was a writer at The Big Lead where he covered similar topics. He also hosted an eponymous podcast where he interviewed several personalities such as Joe Tessitore, and Adam Schefter.


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