On CNN last night, another political discussion went off the rails as the liberal host pitted a conservative against a liberal on a hot button topic and only stepped in to stoke the flames.
Ironically enough, the topic was civility, and if Rep. Maxine Waters’ controversial comments over the weekend, encouraging liberals to harass Republicans were justified. Angela Rye, CNN political commentator and former Congressional Black Caucus adviser, defended Waters, while former advisor for Trump’s Hispanic Advisory Council Steve Cortes attacked the remarks, on Erin Burnett Outfront, June 26.
The conversation started with host Erin Burnett asking the pair if Waters should apologize, after being called out by House Speaker Paul Ryan to do so.
“Absolutely not,” Rye gushed, demanding Ryan apologize instead for the “horrible” immigration legislation that didn’t “engage Democrats,” and not having the “courage” to stand up to Trump during the campaign. Cortes obviously didn’t agree.
“She should not only apologize but she should resign,” he blasted. “She’s a disgrace to her office,” he gushed as Rye shook her head in disgust. “She called on people who support President Trump to be hounded and chased out of the the public square. That is a opposite of what we've ever stood for in America,” he noted. He went on to dismiss Waters as nutty but said that her sentiments were being echoed by other more “respectable” liberals as well, so it was a sign of where the Democrat party was heading:
I think Maxine Waters is so ridiculous that she can almost be discounted and to some degree written off, but there are a lot of supposedly respectable people out there echoing her sentiments. People like Donny Deutsch on MSNBC. People like Elise Jordan on NBC who said if you vote for President Trump, you're a Nazi and the ostracization and social shunning of Sarah Sanders' family was okay. So it's not just Maxine Waters who quite frankly crazy, a lot of those who are supposedly respectable who are also voicing--I'm very much disrespecting her, who are voicing these kinds of sentiments.
Burnett turned her criticism to her conservative guest. “I always find it unfortunate that were now in this world where it's fine to just personally malign people, but that's the world we're in. Steve part of the reason we're in this world is because of the man you come on here and regularly defend. If you're saying that Maxine Waters should resign, fine, then you should also be saying the president should resign,” she griped. She then repeatedly asked Cortes to account for Trump’s comments and tweets.
Cortes noted there was a “big difference” between insulting someone and calling on people to intimidate people, and also a difference between what is said during a campaign and as president. Rye accused Cortes and conservatives of taking Waters out of context...because she is black:
Yes, I think the big difference is what regularly happens to Congresswoman Waters because her words are so powerful and for whatever reason, the Republicans and apparently, some Democrats are threatened by her power and her courage, her words are not only taken out of context, she's also misquoted. There was nothing in her statement about hounding people. The things she said, I have it written down, they're going to harass them. She's talking about what people will do. She also said create a crowd and push back on them. That is what she's always been about.
Burnett didn’t push back on Rye like she did with Cortes but gently wondered if the fact that Sanders was now to be the first press secretary to start having Secret Service protection was an indicator of something wrong. But Rye stuck to her guns.
“What bothers me Erin is that people regularly take her comments out of context,” she shot back, before going on a longwinded rant
She has clarified that she's been abundantly clear about what she's calling for. She is asking for Trump administration officials to be held accountable for what they're doing. This isn't about some simple policy or political difference, Erin. This is about people who are separating families more than 2300 children at this point with no plan to reunite them.This is about policies like the Muslim ban that was just upheld in the Supreme Court today. I'm not done. I did not interrupt you. Let me finish. My point is is very simple. I demand that people stop requiring congresswoman waters to be to behave in one way while others can do something else. Nancy Pelosi says let's make America beautiful again.
Whose America is she talking about? Steve, at the beginning of this program, said this isn't America. What America are you talking about? Childish Gambino artfully told you what America is and what it looks like, lets deal with the distinctions that we all see, because some of us see a very different America. The fact that Chuck Schumer called what a black woman said un-American is problematic and this is the reason why Democrats--
Burnett stepped in to ask Rye if Schumer was not allowed to criticize Waters just because of “the color of her skin.” Apparently Rye thought Waters deserved to be immune to criticism, because it would be racist to disagree with her:
“It has everything to do with the fact that this black woman is is intimidating to some people who can't handle the truth. It has everything to do with it!” Rye gushed, as the panel talked over eachother. Rye went on to angrily rant that it was obvious that Trump hated black women and that racism was part of America’s DNA:
Come on, Erin, there's time an time again we can look at trump's tweets! He’s intimidated by Jemele Hill. He’s intimidated by Frederica Wilson. He’s intimidated by Maxine Waters. Overwhelmingly and disproportionately so it has everything to do is race and that’s why I find Chuck Schumer's comments deplorable and offensive. What America are you talking about? This is the America of lynch mobs, too. Let’s be very clear. She didn't call for violence. Trump did.
Cortes was given the “last word” by Burnett, and he blasted Waters again for calling for “thuggery,” intimidation and harassment. Burnett cut in, asking Cortes to “acknowledge” that President Trump insulted Waters’ I.Q., as if this was somehow an equivalent offense. Cortes wasn’t having it.
“She [Waters] e accused the CIA of starting the crack epidemic in Los Angeles in the 1990s! She has low IQ” he said, flabbergasted. Burnett and Rye looked disgusted at his response and lashed out.
RYE: No, the truth just hurts!
BURNETT: Oh my God, did you really just try to defend him saying she has low I.Q.?
As Rye began ranting again at Cortes’s use of the loaded word “thuggery,” Burnett ended the trainwreck of a segment to change topics.