CNN's Lemon Suggests Blacks Will 'Lose,' Go Hungry Under Trump Budget

On Thursday's CNN Tonight, Don Lemon hosted a discussion in which he suggested that black Americans would "lose" in President Donald Trump's budget in spite of Trump asking black voters during the campaign, "what do you have to lose?"

As conservative CNN political commentator and Trump supporter Paris Dennard was outnumbered 4-1 -- facing off with two liberals guests, a liberal host and a right-leaning guest who was critical of Trump's budget -- Dennard jousted with Lemon and at one point was admonished by the host to "let other people speak" even though Dennard was not the one speaking at the time.

Near the end of the 11:00 p.m. hour, Lemon introduced the segment by bringing up Trump's famous "What do you have to lose?" appeal to blacks to vote for him. Lemon:

Candidate Donald Trump reached out to African-American voters by famously asking, "What do you have to lose?" He said at some points, "What the hell do you have to lose?" So here's some answers now. The President Trump's preliminary budget plan is out, so let's discuss now.

Then played several clips of Trump from the campaign. Even though liberals have a history of suggesting that Republicans are racist for noticing that blacks are disproportionately affected by economic and social problems, even pretending such problems do not exist, Lemon was quick to portray supposed budget cuts of economic and social programs as disproportionately hurting the black population as he posed:

<<< Please support MRC's NewsBusters team with a tax-deductible contribution today. >>>

Wow, that really did happen, didn't it? So what do we have to lose? What do African-Americans have to lose? The President's proposed budget slashes funding, let's see, for federal agencies that assist poor and urban areas, including many African-Americans, Department of Housing and Urban Development down 13.2 percent, the Department of Education down 13.5 percent, Department of Health and Human Services down 16.2 percent. So it seems that some African-Americans are losing a lot. Am I wrong, Paris?

After Dennard began by recalling that funding for black colleges was not being cut in spite of the numbers cited for education spending in general, Lemon mockingly responded: "Well, when people are kicked out of their houses, I guess they're going to go live in a historically black college or university."

After Dennard and liberal commentator Angela Rye went back and forth a bit, Lemon got back in and suggested blacks would be unable to get enough food because of President Trump's budget:

So a lot of people -- HBCUs is (sic) important, but there are a lot of people who are sitting here watching tonight going, "HBCUs? I got to eat. I've got to live somewhere. Great, yes, I would love to send my kid to a college, any college." Maybe they want to send them to an HBCU. But why are you rambling on about HBCUs when we're talking about urban development, about other education, about Health and Human Services, and more important issues than HBCUs?

After Lemon and Dennard went back and forth a bit more, normally right-leaning commentator Shermichael Singleton also complained about the Trump budget. After Dennard got back in for a bit, there came a point when Lemon seemed to reflexively think Dennard was interrupting the conversation as he was turning to liberal commentator Bakari Sellers, leading him to admonish Dennard instead of Singleton:

DON LEMON: And just in case you're wondering, Shermichael is a conservative, is a Republican, and once worked in government. So anyways, Bakari -- 

SHERMICHAEL SINGLETON: And Don --

LEMON: -- how much will this budget -- Paris, let other people speak -- how much will this proposed budget --

DENNARD: That wasn't me.

LEMON: -- hurt African-Americans --

SINGELTON: That was me, Don. That was me.

LEMON: Sorry, okay, sorry, I'm wrong.

DENNARD: Chastise the right person.

LEMON: Go ahead, Bakari.

Lemon and Dennard have a history of getting into heated exchanges, and recently Lemon abruptly ended the show after taking up Dennard's time lecturing him and not allowing him time to speak.

Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the Thursday, March 16, CNN Tonight:

11:46 p.m. ET

DON LEMON: Candidate Donald Trump reached out to African-American voters by famously asking, "What do you have to lose?" He said at some points, "What the hell do you have to lose?" So here's some answers now. The President Trump's preliminary budget plan is out, so let's discuss now. CNN political commentators Shermichael Singleton, Bakari Sellers, Angela Rye, and Paris Dennard. So good to have all of you on. So let's go through this. Paris, I'm going to start with you. President Trump said on the trail to African-Americans, listen to this.

DONALD TRUMP (DATED AUGUST 18, 2016) CLIP #1: What do you have to lose by trying something new like Trump?

TRUMP CLIP #2: You're living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58 percent of your youth is unemployed. What the hell do you have to lose?

TRUMP (DATED AUGUST 22, 2016) CLIP #3: We'll get rid of the crime. You'll be able to walk down the street without getting shot. Right now, you walk down the street and you get shot. 

TRUMP CLIP #4: What do you have to lose?

LEMON: Wow, that really did happen, didn't it? So what do we have to lose? What do African-Americans have to lose? The President's proposed budget slashes funding, let's see, for federal agencies that assist poor and urban areas, including many African-Americans, Department of Housing and Urban Development down 13.2 percent, the Department of Education down 13.5 percent, Department of Health and Human Services down 16.2 percent. So it seems that some African-Americans are losing a lot. Am I wrong, Paris?

PARIS DENNARD: Well, yes, Don, I think you are wrong because if you look at the 13.5 percent cut that you mentioned for the Department of Education. What we do know in a time that a lot of cuts happen across the board across the federal government because the President campaigned and said he was going to do that. What we did not see is any cuts to HBCU -- $492 million to HBCU were not cut. What we did not see were cuts to Pell. When you see over 90 percent of --

LEMON: Well, when people are kicked out of their houses, I guess they're going to go live in a historically black college or university, but go on. 

ANGELA RYE But, Don, he said that those were going to be priority, they were going to be top priority. He kept the same amount of money, Paris. i heard you complain about from President Obama. That is why my mouth dropped open. You're right on the numbers, but I can't believe-

DENNARD: Yeah, absolutely.

RYE: Yeah. I can't believe that you're now defending the same number. Please at least hold your guy accountable on this. You are my champion for HBCUs. Come on, Paris.

DENNARD: I am a champion. That's why I was so disturbed when President Obama cut millions out of HBCU funding from his first budget. And when you look at this President's budget, he did not make one cut to HBCU funding. He did not make one cut to Pell funding. Actually he increased-

RYE: Paris, what did he do with Pell? What did he do with Pell?

LEMON: Angela and Paris, Angela and Paris, so a lot of people -- HBCUs is (sic) important, but there are a lot of people who are sitting here watching tonight going, "HBCUs? I got to eat. I've got to live somewhere. Great, yes, I would love to send my kid to a college, any college." Maybe they want to send them to an HBCU. But why are you rambling on about HBCUs when we're talking about urban development, about other education, about Health and Human Services, and more important issues than HBCUs?

DENNARD: Don, I would caution you by saying to all those 300,000 students who attend HBCUs --

LEMON: I didn't say it wasn't important. I said there are more important issues. Don't put words in my mouth. Did you hear what I said? I said there are more important issues.

DENNARD: When you put up a graphic that shows all these cuts --

LEMON: Paris, all my family -- my entire family went to HBCUs. Don't give me the lesson. I know the HBCUs. Look at me. I know what they are. And I'm a product of an HBCU. My point is, there are more important things than HBCUs, and you keep pointing to one of them when I've gone down a list of things that are really important. And what I'm telling you, I would rather eat -- or to some people, the priority for them is to eat rather than where they're going to go to college.

(...)

LEMON: And just in case you're wondering -- hold on, hold on -- and just in case you're wondering, Shermichael is a conservative, is a Republican, and once worked in government. So anyways, Bakari -- 

SHERMICHAEL SINGLETON: And Don --

LEMON: -- how much will this budget -- Paris, let other people speak -- how much will this proposed budget --

DENNARD: That wasn't me.

LEMON: -- hurt African-Americans --

SINGELTON: That was me, Don. That was me.

LEMON: Sorry, okay, sorry, I'm wrong.

DENNARD: Chastise the right person.

LEMON: Go ahead, Bakari.

NB Daily 2016 Presidential Crime Budget Unemployment Education Higher Education Conservatives & Republicans Poverty Welfare Race Issues CNN CNN Tonight Video Angela Rye Don Lemon Donald Trump


Sponsored Links