The Sideshow

U.S. Senate candidate pantomimes 5-year-old son during strange cable news interview

Eric Pfeiffer
The Sideshow

Rhode Island Republican Barry Hinckley's U.S. Senate run got a boost this week when a cute campaign video featuring his 5-year-old son Hudson hit the web. But it was Barry and Hudson's bizarre follow-up interview with Fox News that may make the more lasting impression.

In the campaign video, "Economics for five-year-olds," Hudson breaks down criticism of President Obama's economic policies, asking, "Five-year-olds, are you better off now than you were five years ago?" Of course, President Obama was not in the White House five years ago, but we'll cut the kid some slack. Whether or not you agree with the video's political message, Hudson is adorable and charismatic.

So, Fox News host Neil Cavuto had Barry and Hudson Hinckley on his show to discuss the ad. This is where things got very weird, very quickly. Throughout the video, Barry Hinckley can be seen reading something off-screen and mouthing the exact words his son Hudson is saying in response to Cavuto's questions. (The interview starts at the 1:30 mark in the video below.)

Hilariously, things momentarily go off script when Cavuto inquires somewhat skeptically, "Hudson, are you worried about our debt?" Hudson pauses long enough for his Dad to interject, asking, "Are you worried about paying back the money?" Finally, Hudson answers, "Um, no."

Barry Hinckley appears a little irritated and Cavuto jokes, "You're not worried about it at all. So, the whole ad was a lie!"

So, what in the world was happening? Most likely, the interview was scripted so that 5-year-old Hudson would stay on his Dad's campaign message. Hinckley insists that most of the people who have watched his son's campaign video are supportive but a look over the video's comments shows plenty of people bringing up the never-ending question of whether a politician should use their own children for political gain.

Cavuto even asked Barry Hinckley about that, to which he said, "The reality is, our kids have everything at stake here because the career politicians in Washington keep kicking the can down the road and passing the buck to our children."

Cavuto himself appeared uncomfortable with how the interview was unfolding, so it's unclear if Fox News was aware of the scripting.

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