Barry Hinckley, a Rhode Island Republican mounting a challenge to Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, had an awkward Fox News interview alongside his 5-year-old son Hudson on Thursday.
Hinckley recently gained attention for a campaign ad starring his son in which Hudson takes on the usual concerns of our nation's 5-year-olds: the national debt, the Balanced Budget Amendment, even career politicians.
In the ad, Hudson gives a lecture on "Economics 4 5-Year-Olds." Using handwritten charts, Hudson points out the path of the national debt since he was born. "YUCK!" exclaims the precocious little boy. He states in the campaign ad that "career politicians have been spending all our money." Near the end of the video, young Hudson asks a crucial question: "5-year-olds: Are you better off now than you were 5 years ago?" The ad concludes with a political plea. "Tell your mom and dad to vote for my dad Barry Hinckley, cause he's been balanced the budgets."
WATCH THE CAMPAIGN AD BELOW (via YouTube/hinckley2012)
Barry and his son discussed the commercial on Thursday with Neil Cavuto, and the strange interview has to be seen to be believed. When Cavuto asks Hudson what his friends' reactions to the video have been, Hinckley's son responds, "Um, I don't know right now." Cavuto continues, "You haven't talked to them? Have they seen you?" "I think," says Hudson.
Barry explains to Cavuto why he chose to use his son in a campaign ad:
Neil Cavuto: "What gave you the idea to use your son?"
Barry Hinckley: "Well he's been campaigning with me for a year. His sister and he both have. Every single weekend he's out there. And he loves it. And he's met, you know, hundreds of people across Rhode Island, actually thousands. He really enjoys it, he likes being part of the program. And I think he understands that it's an important thing that we're doing, and so, my campaign has always been based since the beginning on our children, my children, your children and the fact that we have way too much debt. So it just made sense that we cut a video with Hudson talking 5-year-old to 5-year-old about what the stakes are."
When Hinckley's son is questioned about whether he's "worried about our debt" and "worried about paying back the money," he offers a simple answer: "Um. No."
As the boy's concern about decreasing the national debt becomes more and more questionable, his father is forced to defend his son's devotion to the cause. "He's worried about it. We do talk about it actually in the car. He understands it actually."
When pressed by Cavuto about whether he's worried about the future of the United States, Hudson makes his final case with two well-chosen words: "Kind of."
You said it, Hudson. You said it.
WATCH A CLIP OF THE INTERVIEW BELOW (via Mediaite)