The Issue Is: Tomi Lahren v. Ethan Bearman

It’s debate night on "The Issue Is."

In one corner, Conservative host Tomi Lahren. In the other, Progressive attorney Ethan Bearman.

The two join Elex Michaelson to discuss the crisis in Afghanistan, the upcoming recall election of Governor Newsom, vaccine mandates, and more.



BACKGROUND: This week, as the August 31 withdrawal deadline in Afghanistan approached, and as thousands of Americans and Afghans attempted to evacuate the nation, suicide bombs went off at the gate of the Kabul airport. When the dust had settled, 13 U.S. service members had been killed, resulting in the deadliest day for the U.S. military since 2011.

LAHREN’S CENTRAL TAKE: "I think it's, very simply put, an unmitigated disaster. This is what happens when you have a Commander-In-Chief who is asleep at the wheel. This is what happens when you have a Democrat Party that is more consumed with climate change, and wokeness, and defunding the police, than protecting and defending Americans wherever they may be. I don't think anybody would argue that we shouldn't withdraw from Afghanistan, it's the way that it was done. It was how poorly it was planned. It's the lack of information and answers we've been given from this administration that I think is so infuriating. It's an outrage. It is inexcusable. And I'd like to see anybody try to say otherwise, because it's quite obviously a disaster…"

BEARMAN’S CENTRAL TAKE: "Look, we have two sets of issues that happened here. First was the previous president actually is the one who negotiated to release 5,000 Taliban prisoners, including the new leader of the Taliban in Afghanistan. And he's the one who negotiated a full withdrawal of U.S. troops by May the 1st, of which Joe Biden actually honored that negotiation that happened under the former president. Further, the second big point that I think isn't talked about enough, was the prior administration failed to work with the incoming Biden administration for a smooth transition. So when Joe Biden and his team took over in January, there wasn't the traditional two months of exchange of information, and Joe Biden did what was necessary, what both President Trump and President Biden promised to do, which was to get us out of Afghanistan. Look, there's no clear, clean, easy way to withdraw from a messy war, which we should have never been in…"



BACKGROUND: After months of signature-collection and campaigning, we’re now just two weeks from the final day to vote in the recall election of Governor Gavin Newsom. This week, a busy one, in the campaign, as four candidates, including three named Kevin, met to debate… Larry Elder continued to weather attacks from both sides, as well as a former fiancee… and Governor Newsom was set to campaign with Vice President Harris, until the rally was cancelled in the aftermath of the Kabul attack.

LAHREN’S CENTRAL TAKE: "Look at the failed state of California. I know what Ethan's probably going to say. He's going to tout that it's the fifth or sixth largest economy in the world. That it's home to great academic institution, it's home to Hollywood, it's home to Silicon Valley, all wonderful things. It is a great state. It has abundant resources and beauty... So why then does it have the highest income income inequality, when you account for cost of living? Why do you have gas prices through the roof? Why do you have a homeless crisis that this Governor has said to have addressed, but if anybody has taken a trip to Santa Monica, Venice, San Francisco, they know that not to be the case? And also, when you look at the numbers and you compare places like California and New York, to other states that chose freedom, that chose prosperity both economically and freedom of choice when it comes to health and wellness - when you look at the COVID numbers, there is little, if any, difference in the way that that Governor handled your state. It was, again, a disaster, and that is why you had over 1.7 millions Californians, not Republicans, 1.7 million Californians that stood up, that stood out, and said, we need to recall this governor and they're going to do it…"

BEARMAN’S CENTRAL TAKE: "This was a fever dream of the Right that was paid for by the RNC and other Trump supporters, as a court upheld to be stated in the mail-ins - that's who's behind this. It's hatred for any Democrat.... Governor Gavin Newsom has done an amazing job leading this state through a horrific pandemic that has killed over 600,000 Americans. Let's not lose sight of that, over 600,000 Americans. He's the one who took the lead, unlike places like Florida and Texas, where they're now having record numbers of deaths and overloaded hospitals where regular people are being turned away and dying as a result - a thousand people a week are dying of COVID in places like Florida right now. We cannot allow California to turn into a Florida. Look, Gavin Newsom led, and that's what is scary for the Republicans, is how dare he actually lead and keep us safe?…"

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BACKGROUND: This week, the FDA fully approved the Pfizer vaccine, which, to date, had been granted emergency use authorization. Following the approval, the debate intensified around vaccine mandates, especially as President Biden called on private companies to "step up the vaccine requirements that’ll reach millions more people."

LAHREN’S CENTRAL TAKE: "Any time you take away personal freedom and choice, that is wrong on a number of levels. I've often cautioned people, once you start giving your rights away, you likely won't get them back, and that has been the story of California, the first state to lock-down, one of the last states to reopen. Now, following the New York model of mask mandates and vaccine mandates. Listen, a person's health decision, whether they choose to be vaccinated or not be vaccinated, is between them and their doctor, it is not up to your tyrant Governor to decide. And the fact that he is making the unvaccinated feel as though they are lepers and degenerates, that they can't go in and eat a cheeseburger or go in and get a steak like he has done at the French Laundry without a vaccine card, is utterly ridiculous, especially for somebody who is against voter ID laws…"

BEARMAN’S CENTRAL TAKE: "[George Washington, our Founding Fathers] passed in 1796, an act relative to quarantine, authorizing federal officers to go and enforce local and state quarantine and public health laws. This is the founding of our country has recognized that during pandemics and major outbreaks, the public health is greater than your concept of freedom and liberty - your freedom is there, if you want to go live in a cabin in the woods like Ted Kaczynski and not participate in society. We don't live alone in little separate colonies anymore, and even when we did, our founding fathers said, you're going to have to get a vaccine…"


The Issue Is: with Elex Michaelson is California's only statewide political show. For showtimes and more information, go to