CNN has not hesitated to slam President Trump as a sexist in recent months. Believe it or not, the network has now attached that label to a left-wing political figure generally adored by the legacy media: Michelle Obama. While the rest of the panel on CNN Right Now Tuesday took issue with some comments recently made by the former First Lady, CNN Political Analyst April Ryan defended her for speaking “her truth” about President Trump.
Host Brianna Keilar asked Ryan and CNN chief political analyst Gloria Borger to react to Michelle Obama’s comparison of America to a teenager with a “broken family” who has to “spend weekends with a divorced dad and that feels like fun…but then you get sick.” She was comparing the “divorced dad” to President Trump: “that’s what America is going through. We're kind of living with a divorced dad right now.” The Obama-loving crowd definitely agreed with Obama’s analysis, erupting into “chuckles,” as Keilar put it. You can barely tell, but Mrs. Obama is talking to CBS late-night host Stephen Colbert on stage.
After she finished playing the clip of Mrs. Obama, Keilar declared “that was a sexist comment.” Keilar and the rest of the panel did not take issue with the fact that she was taking a shot at President Trump; they were more offended by the way her comments portrayed divorced dads. Keilar pointed out that a lot of dads “might have more than just a weekend with their kids,” later adding that Obama’s comparison implied that “Dads aren’t serious. Dads don’t really take care of you.”
While Borger described the “divorced dads” analogy as a “bad metaphor,” she acknowledged “we understand what she’s saying, which is...those feelings you had about Donald Trump being for change and all good things will happen have probably worn off with the American people.” Good things haven't happened?
Following Borger’s analysis, Keilar reiterated her earlier point: “it’s surprising to me…that Michelle Obama would make this mistake.” Ryan, the most sympathetic to Michelle Obama’s point of view, challenged that take: "Do you think it was a mistake?"
Ryan argued that “it may not have been the best analogy” but still concluded “Michelle Obama is on a book tour and she has spoken her truth.” When defining “her truth,” Ryan trashed President Trump; talking about how the former First Lady “knows this President and she’s talked about Donald Trump putting her children’s lives in jeopardy and her life in jeopardy.”
Ryan proceeded to make the argument that she thought Michelle Obama was trying to make:
We’re a divided nation. We are going through growing pains; some serious tummy ache, nausea, maybe even calling earl, I don’t know, but she was saying we’re going through growing pains and we need to be adults about it; being the parent. As the President of the United States, you are the leader. You are basically the parent of this nation. You’re trying to bring unity. You’re trying to trying keep things calm.
The conversation ended on a sense of agreement, with Ryan telling Borger “I’m with you” after she said “it was a bad metaphor, analogy, whatever you want to call it.”
A transcript of the relevant portion of Tuesday’s edition of At This Hour is below. Click “expand” to read more.
CNN Right Now With Brianna Keilar
BRIANNA KEILAR: I do want to turn now to some comments that were made by Michelle Obama, who is equating President Trump to a divorced dad. Let’s have a listen to exactly what she said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHELLE OBAMA: We come from a broken family. We’re a teenager, we’re…you know, we’re a little unsettled, you know. You know, having good parents, you know, is tough, you know, sometimes you spend weekends with a divorced dad and that feels like it’s fun. But then you get sick. That’s what America is going through. We’re kind of living with a divorced dad right now.
(LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: She got some chuckles, but that was a sexist comment.
GLORIA BORGER: Oh, I think so. And I think divorced dads…
KEILAR: Divorced dads everywhere…
BORGER: …who are good dads are probably upset about it. I mean, we understand what her point was, which is…
KEILAR: Or might, or honestly, a lot of them might have more than just a weekend with their kids. All right?
BORGER: That’s right.
APRIL RYAN: There are some good dads. Okay, let’s, let’s leave the good dads off of this.
BORGER: Okay but, you know, and we agree but her point was dads are for fun, and after a while the…the fun wears off.
KEILAR: Dads aren’t, dads aren’t serious. Dads don’t really take care of you.
BORGER: Right. And, you realize, you know, you, you can’t eat pizza every night, that maybe your tummy will get upset after a while. It was a bad, it was a bad metaphor, I think, but we understand what she’s saying, which is, okay, those feelings you had about Donald Trump being for change and all good things will happen have probably worn off with the American people. I think it’s wishful thinking on her part.
KEILAR: It’s…it’s surprising to me that Michelle Obama…
RYAN: Michelle Obama would do this.
KEILAR: …would make this mistake.
RYAN: Well, do you think it was a mistake?
RYAN: You think it was a mistake? Okay. Well, she…Michelle Obama is on a book tour, and she has spoken her truth. She knows this President, and she’s talked about Donald Trump putting her children’s lives in jeopardy and her life in jeopardy, okay? So that’s from the place I believe she’s speaking.
RYAN: Was it, was the analogy…
KEILAR: But the words.
RYAN: I know, wait a minute. Was the analogy great? It may not have been the best analogy. But at the same time, what she spoke to…when I’m looking beyond the words. Her words may not have, may not have been great. I mean, there are some children who do have dads that they don’t want to go to. There are some of those parents that are not the greatest. So I understood that part of what she’s saying.
KEILAR: But when you start saying to…we’ll look beyond Michelle Obama’s words, what does that say?
RYAN: No, no, no but…
RYAN: Look, what I said it was not the best analogy, okay? But at the same time, looking at what she was saying, and I also looked at Ilhan Omar, if that’s what you’re saying, I looked at her words as well.
KEILAR: Or anyone.
RYAN: For anyone.
RYAN: Steve King, but let’s go there. But here’s the thing. What she was saying is we’re a divided nation. We are going through growing pains; some serious tummy ache, nausea, maybe even calling earl, I don’t know, but she was saying we’re going through growing pains and we need to be adults about it; being the parent. As the President of the United States, you are the leader. You are basically the parent of this nation. You’re trying to bring unity. You’re trying to trying keep things calm. You’re, you’re our safety net.
KEILAR: Final word.
BORGER: Well, to those good divorced dads out there.
KEILAR: Say it…
RYAN: Speak to it, Gloria.
KEILAR: Preach, Gloria Borger.
BORGER: That was not the best thing to say. We get her point.
BORGER: But it was a bad metaphor, analogy, whatever you want to call it.
RYAN: I’m with you.
KEILAR: All right.
BORGER: Find a new one.
KEILAR: All right, Gloria Borger, April Ryan, thank you to both of you.