CNN's Louis: Reagan Told 'Clearly Untrue' 'Fables About Welfare Queens'

On Tuesday's New Day, after co-host Chris Cuomo argued that Donald Trump was "lying" by claiming there were millions of illegally cast votes, CNN political commentator Errol Louis brought up former President Ronald Reagan and smeared him as having made up a story about "welfare queens" scamming the federal-run welfare system as he ran for President.

Even though liberal sources like Slate and NPR admit that the "welfare queen" Reagan spoke of existed, the CNN commentator claimed that "there were stories that Ronald Reagan told that were clearly untrue," adding that "He had all kinds of, you know, sort of, fables about welfare queens who did all kinds of things, and he never justified any of it." Louis continued: "And, after a while, you start to realize he wants to say that he hates the welfare system. He's not making any specific claim that anybody's ever going to be able to track down, and it is a waste of time to pretend otherwise."

Louis's comments about Reagan came as he agreed with Cuomo's assessment of Trump telling "lies," and suggested that journalists ignore them in favor of focusing on other issues: "I think we're sorting of reaching that point with some of these Trump claims. He'll make up something every day if we're going to chase that rabbit out into the field. It might be better to sort of say, 'Look, once again, he has said something that is not true. Now, we have a big government that we have to put together and a big nation to take care of. Let's focus on the policy.'"

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Tuesday, November 29, New Day on CNN:

6:19 a.m. ET

CHRIS CUOMO: And he is the author of his own style, and he is entitled to his own messaging. There is no question about that. But he is not entitled to his own facts, and what we're dealing with here, Errol, is fact. The only way that this not a lie, what he's saying, because it's certainly a lie to say millions voted illegally in this country. It's a lie. The only way it is not a lie for Trump is if he's relying on somebody else that he decides to believe, even if it's a conspiracy theorist. There is just nothing to this idea, so you're seeing Republicans and Democrats running away from this and saying it's not true, he's got to move on, this didn't happen. I mean, it couldn't be more clear.

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: That's right. I mean, I think they, you know, sort of, the top layer of this cake that you've described is that he does it so often that, at some point you have to decide either we're not going to report on the latest lie, the complete fabrication that has no basis in any fact, not even anything that was told to him so it's not even in good faith, or you either have to sort of report on it over and over and over again, or we just have to ignore it. And ignoring it-

CUOMO: Dangerous to ignore.

LOUIS: Well, ignoring is -- or downplay it which I think is something of an option. I mean, there were stories that Ronald Reagan told that were clearly untrue. He had all kinds of, you know, sort of, fables about welfare queens who did all kinds of things, and he never justified any of it. And, after a while, you start to realize he wants to say that he hates the welfare system. He's not making any specific claim that anybody's ever going to be able to track down, and it is a waste of time to pretend otherwise.

I think we're sorting of reaching that point with some of these Trump claims. He'll make up something every day if we're going to chase that rabbit out into the field. It might be better to sort of say, "Look, once again, he has said something that is not true. Now, we have a big government that we have to put together and a big nation to take care of. Let's focus on the policy."

Brad Wilmouth
Brad Wilmouth is a contributing blogger to NewsBusters