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CEA's Gary Shapiro Debates Lou Dobbs: What a Fight!
CNN matchup between CEA president and anchorman gets heated.


The free-trade debate on CNN between anchorman Lou Dobbs and CEA president Gary Shapiro was a mix of Abraham Lincoln vs. Stephen Douglas and Tonya Harding vs. Nancy Kerrigan.


No matter how you cut it, this was a heavyweight brawl.




Dobbs, an outspoken commentator on CNN who has rallied fans in recent years behind his anti-NAFTA stance and his anti-immigration stand, said that CEA president Shapiro had challenged him to a debate about trade deficits, tariff policy and free trade.


Shapiro went on Lou Dobbs Tonight on January 18, and the fireworks flew.


It's 8 minutes and 34 seconds of great TV. To take a page from all the political commentators on TV and in print today, here's my take on the spirited debate.


Dobbs believes that the U.S. trade policy is broken and is calling for a revamping, blaming spiraling trade deficits on the existing laws.


Shapiro believes the free-market economy is performing well, adding 25 million U.S. jobs and arguing that the growth in the U.S. economy (and oil) are the primary reasons for the trade deficit.


Like many commentators, Dobbs seems to be the master of talking over his guests, and this case was no different.


Throughout the interview, Dobbs leans forward and back in his chair, interrupts Shapiro and even puts his finger to his chin in a condescending gesture as if to say, I am smarter than you.

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