S.E. Cupp Unloads on Relitigating Sandy Bill During Harvey; ‘How Old Are You People?’

On the Wednesday edition of her HLN show, conservative/libertarian host S.E. Cupp ripped into the current political debate over disaster relief funding in light of Hurricane Harvey that’s centered around how lawmakers felt about the so-called Sandy relief package in January 2013. 

“How old are you people? There is a natural disaster happening right now. What are you doing when you’ve got actual children in Houston just trying to survive and rising to the occasion and acting like adults and elected leaders acting like children. My message to these buffoons is, be quiet, grown-ups are talking,” Cupp exclaimed in her A-block.

Cupp took on Texas GOP Senator Ted Cruz (even though he’s simply been responding to critics), but mostly New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (N.J.). She noted that “while Houstonians and their neighbors have been modeling good citizenship and good samaritanism, some prominent politicians have opted for juvenile bickering and squabbling over years-old fights.”

Noting how Republicans had issues with the Sandy package since it “did other things beside Sandy relief and voted against them,” Cupp explained that Christie’s “memory is long and though he has nothing to do with funding relief for Hurricane Harvey, he has no problem telling you what he thinks of it.”

Cupp shifted to Cruz, but not before calling out Christie after a clip of him tag-teaming to trash Cruz on New Day with Chris Cuomo: 

Looking tan, governor. You know, Chris, you could have just said, whatever happened five years ago is in the past. I hope everyone does their part to help the victims of Harvey in their time of need. But why take the high road when the low road feels so good? 

Cuomo would also benefit from Cupp’s refreshing points, but alas, Cuomo isn’t someone know to back down from his liberal views that are ingrained in his DNA.

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After her outburst mentioned near the top, she brought in her panel with fellow libertarian Andy Levy agreeing with her commentary, stating simply: “Shut up. Get aid to people who need it, and then go back to yelling at each other.” The two then joked:

CUPP: And if you have nothing to do with it, Governor Christie, go away. 

LEVY: And, look, he should keep a low profile in general. We don't need the guy who posted pictures of himself sitting on the beach that was closed to the public, you know, getting on any high horses. Also that —

MARC LAMONT HILL: That’s your own joke there. 

LEVY: Yeah. But, look, that said, Christie and Peter King, who also should shut up about this, they're not wrong here. You know, that's the thing. Cruz and others did vote against the Sandy relief packages and Cruz is not really telling the truth when he says why, because that bill was not full of pork as he's been saying. It did have other disaster relief in it. 

CUPP: Some other stu — I believe I clarified — I classified it in the read as, some other stuff. 

“But why are we litigating something that happened five years ago, not like a week after the disaster, in the middle of it? Am I too sensitive here,” Cupp added.

Again, Cruz has merely been responding to folks like Christie and his allies in the media who have already been more concerned about waging political fights, but their argument about the debate being pointless is valid.

Cupp also saved for later in the segment one example from a Democrat getting in on the Sandy/Harvey comparisons:

Some Democrats, I have found are also taking the opportunity. Democrats who have nothing to do with this, taking the opportunity to sort of rub this in. ShaWn Patrick Maloney, a new York Democrat tweeted: “political gamesmanship delayed sandy relief. People suffered. Can't let it happen again. #Harvey doesn't care [about] party, neither should we.” It's just not necessary. You want to say New York stands with Texas. New York is there for you. New York is with you, Harvey victims. Fine. I don't understand this impulse to play politics at the worst possible time. Don't they know how unpopular they are anyway?

Panelist Sean Parnell later chimed in, opining that lawmakers should be concerned about “saving people” and “coming together.” Alas, they’ve failed that test.

He continued:

This is why the American people have such a great disdain for our political state as it is....They feel like their representatives, whether Democrats or Republicans, don't represent them in a steadfast way in Washington and this is the reason why we have President Donald Trump in office today because people feel like he, whether he's right or wrong, people feel as if he has their back. Regardless of what the establishment on either side says.

Here’s the relevant transcript from HLN’s S.E. Cupp Unfiltered on August 30:

HLN’s S.E. Cupp Unfiltered
August 30, 2017
7:04 p.m. Eastern

S.E. CUPP: All week we've been sharing inspiring stories from Houston and the surrounding areas, they know I can't get out of my mind. I'm sure you can't either. But while Houstonians and their neighbors have been modeling good citizenship and good samaritanism, some prominent politicians have opted for juvenile bickering and squabbling over years-old fights. You remember in 2012 a battle in Congress over a relief bill for Hurricane Sandy, which ravaged the coast of New Jersey and parts of New York. Some Republicans took issue with proposed federal aide packages that did other things beside Sandy relief and voted against them. Well, if you're Chris Christie, the Governor of New Jersey, your memory is long and though he has nothing to do with funding relief for Hurricane Harvey, he has no problem telling you what he thinks of it. Here he is using the hurricane as a chance to take a swipe at his old Sandy nemesis, Texas Senator Ted Cruz. 

REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE (N.J.) [on CNN’s New Day, 08/20/17]: Senator Cruz was playing politics in 2012, trying to make himself look like the biggest conservative in the world, and what I said at the time, both to him and to everybody else was, if you represent a coastal state, don't do this, because your day is gonna come, and you're going to expect people to help you. [SCREEN WIPE] And I see Senator Cruz and it's disgusting to me that he stands in a recovery center with victims standing behind him as a backdrop, and he is still repeating the same reprehensible lies about what happened in Sandy. 

CUPP: Looking tan, governor. You know, Chris, you could have just said, whatever happened five years ago is in the past. I hope everyone does their part to help the victims of Harvey in their time of need. But why take the high road when the low road feels so good? Of course, far be it from Ted Cruz to let an opportunity for self-righteousness preening go to waste. He had this response to Christie. 

REPUBLICAN SENATOR TED CRUZ [on FNC’s Fox & Friends, 08/20/17]: I'm sorry that there are politicians who seem really desperate to get their names in the news and are saying whatever they need to do that. We have a crisis on the ground of people who are hurting right now, people who are in harm's way. [SCREEN WIPE] For folks who are focused on raising political shots of snipes about the Sandy, facts matter. And a simple fact is, that sandy bill was over $50 billion and 70 percent of it was non-emergency. Only 30 percent of the funding was emergency funding for the victims of Sandy. 

CUPP: Congressman Peter King of New York, also wanting to get in on the schoolyard fight, tweeting: “Ted Cruz & Texas cohorts voted [against New York/New Jersey] aid after Sandy but I'll vote for Harvey aid. [New York] wont [sic] abandon Texas. 1 bad turn doesn't deserve another.” How old are you people? There is a natural disaster happening right now. What are you doing when you’ve got actual children in Houston just trying to survive and rising to the occasion and acting like adults and elected leaders acting like children. My message to these buffoons is, be quiet, grown-ups are talking.

(....)

CUPP: Andy, is my outrage misplaced? 

ANDY LEVY: No. For once, I think you're actually right. 

CUPP: Finally! Finally.

LEVY: Look, shut up — not you. 

CUPP: Yes.

LEVY: Shut up. Get aid to people who need it, and then go back to yelling at each other. 

CUPP: And if you have nothing to do with it, Governor Christie, go away. 

LEVY: And, look, he should keep a low profile in general. We don't need the guy who posted pictures of himself sitting on the beach that was closed to the public, you know, getting on any high horses. Also that —

MARC LAMONT HILL: That’s your own joke there. 

LEVY: Yeah. But, look, that said, Christie and Peter King, who also should shut up about this, they're not wrong here. You know, that's the thing. Cruz and others did vote against the Sandy relief packages and Cruz is not really telling the truth when he says why, because that bill was not full of pork as he's been saying. It did have other disaster relief in it. 

CUPP: Some other stu — I believe I clarified — I classified it in the read as, some other stuff. 

(....)

CUPP: But why are we litigating something that happened five years ago, not like a week after the disaster, in the middle of it? Am I too sensitive here? 

(....)

CUPP: Well, before we get too excited, Marc Lamont Hill, let me just point out Democrats have not been behaving all too pleasantly —

HILL: Never! 

CUPP: — either. Some Democrats, I have found are also taking the opportunity. Democrats who have nothing to do with this, taking the opportunity to sort of rub this in. ShaWn Patrick Maloney, a new York Democrat tweeted: “political gamesmanship delayed sandy relief. People suffered. Can't let it happen again. #Harvey doesn't care [about] party, neither should we.” It's just not necessary. You want to say New York stands with Texas. New York is there for you. New York is with you, Harvey victims. Fine. I don't understand this impulse to play politics at the worst possible time. Don't they know how unpopular they are anyway? 

(....)

SEAN PARNELL: I feel like — I feel like litigating this is the wrong time. They should be focused on saving people, coming together. This is a great moment for bipartisanship and the Democrats and Republicans are both failing. 

CUPP: They're ruining it!

RYAN: You can get your swipe in too, like —there’s a way — there’s a way to do this artfully and the way to do it artfully is to say we stand with Texas right now and I hope that this allows people to see how the government can help people recover in the face of unthinkable disaster. 

CUPP: If you end it there and you don't say, “unlike those Texans did in Sandy,” well then, I'm okay. But they're not ending it there. 

(....)

PARNELL: This is why the American people have such a great disdain for our political state as it is. 

HILL: Absolutely.

CUPP: That's exactly why. 

PARNELL: They feel like their representatives, whether Democrats or Republicans, don't represent them in a steadfast way in Washington and this is the reason why we have President Donald Trump in office today because people feel like he, whether he's right or wrong, people feel as if he has their back. Regardless of what the establishment on either side says. 

CUPP: I think you're right and I think this is the epitome of why people hate Washington. 

PARNELL: That's it. 

CUPP: Because if not during a disaster, I mean, this isn't just Washington dysfunction as per usual. This is during a disaster, political grandstanders taking an opportunity during a disaster to make cheap political points. Is there anything worse?


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