CNN host Chris Cuomo used President Trump’s tweet criticizing the left-wing Democratic congresswomen known as “The Squad” as an excuse to trash the President and his supporters during his almost always pompous “Closing Argument” Monday night. Throughout most of the segment, the chyron at the bottom of the screen read “Trump Uses Racism as Political Tool to Rally Hateful Voters.”
Cuomo joined a long list of cable and network news personalities, Democrats, and even some Republicans who trashed the President’s tweet as racist. After calling Trump a demagogue, Cuomo alleged that he “wants the Pinos of this country to love him.” Cuomo was referring to a character from the 1989 movie Do The Right Thing, directed by Trump hater Spike Lee, who also starred in the film.
The CNN host proceeded to play a clip of Pino telling a customer at his pizzeria to “go the f*** back to Africa.” Cuomo described Pino as “an ignorant fool limited by exposure, education, culture bias” before declaring that “this President is something far more dangerous than him.” Cuomo’s analysis was eerily similar to Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” comment, although unlike Clinton, Cuomo did not quantify exactly how much of President Trump’s base consisted of “the Pinos of this country.”
In his conclusion, Cuomo trashed congressional Republicans for failing to thoroughly condemn Trump and took specific aim at Congressman James Comer (R-KY), who described the President’s tweet as a result of “the huge level of frustration across America that there are people in America that aren’t proud of America.” Cuomo said of Comer: “How dare you empower this ignorance.” He added: “You know what the suggestion is; that if you’re brown, you’re an other.”
After playing a clip of Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) referring to “AOC and this crowd” as “a bunch of Communists” who “hate Israel” and “hate our own country,” Cuomo alleged that Graham “does nothing but affix himself to the presidential posterior and that comes with an odor and it will remain.” Cuomo seemed nostalgic for the good old days, back when Graham called President Trump a “race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot.”
Cuomo further suggested that Republicans want to add “another P to the GOP, it’s the grand old pity party now,” where Republicans talk about how “we don’t like what he says.” Addressing to congressional Republicans, he said: “If you hide, your weakness is obvious. If you don’t call this racist BS, like what this President said and did, you are as bad as the President for saying it.”
Cuomo and his colleagues in the liberal media are in no position to attack Republicans for failing to condemn President Trump’s tweet. After all, earlier this year, members of the media excused or openly defended Omar’s anti-Semitic remarks. The media double standard gives the impression that if President Trump had a “D” next to his name, they would not be obsessing over his tweets.
A transcript of the relevant portion of Monday’s edition of Cuomo Prime Time is below. Click “expand” to read more.
Cuomo Prime Time
09:54 p.m. Eastern
PRESIDENT TRUMP: If you hate our country, if you’re not happy here, you can leave.
CHRIS CUOMO: The President’s defenders are saying, see that? This isn’t about dividing by race or playing on prejudices, but notice, that’s not what this President is saying. Think about that. His justification is that people agree with him. They and he cling to this dated and dotardly notion that if the President doesn’t say he’s a racist, well then he can’t be one. Here’s their problem. Their own safe space of “If he won’t own it, he ain’t it,” exposes him as something bad, and even worse. Here’s why. He knows his words are ugly, and untrue, and divisive, un-American even, but he does it anyway, to curry favor with those who reject diversity. That’s why he always says “But a lot of people agree with me.” See his play. He wants to lead the mob. The Greeks had a word for that, “demagogue,” one who is popular with the masses by selling bias and prejudice. That’s what he is. That’s why I have called him that for a long time, and he has always been this. Listen to him on the Central Park Five, birtherism, immigrants, listen closely.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Of course, I hate these people, and let’s all hate these people, because maybe hate is what we need, if we’re going to get something done.
TRUMP: Perhaps it’s going to say Hawaii. Perhaps it’s going to say Kenya.
TRUMP: Perhaps it’s going to say some…I’d like to see place of birth.
TRUMP: When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.
TRUMP: Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.
TRUMP: And you had some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides.
TRUMP: They got a lot of rough people in those caravans. They are not angels, they are not.
CUOMO: You should go back and look at that clip of right before he said “very fine people.” You see him think, “What do I call them? What do I call them?” He…I’ve always said it, and I mean it. He is too smart to say things that are this stupid. That’s what a demagogue does. He wants the Pinos of this country to love him. Do you remember Pino, from “Do the Right Thing?”
PINO FRANGIONE [in Do The Right Thing]: Take your f***ing pizza-pizza and go the f*** back to Africa.
CUOMO: John Turturro there. Pino is an ignorant fool, limited by exposure, education, culture bias. I grew up around a slew of Pinos. I get it. This President is something far more dangerous than he, and his defenders should know it. I keep saying this President and his defenders intentionally. Hiding in his shadow 100 percent of the time, no good. Time to shine the light. Number one.
REP. JAMES COMER (R-KY): There’s a huge level of frustration across America that there are people in America that aren’t proud of America, that they’re always calling on the President to be impeached, they’re always criticizing.
CUOMO: Representative Comer, Republican from Kentucky, how dare you empower this ignorance. You don’t tell Americans to go back to where they come from. They come from here. You know what the suggestion is; that if you’re brown, you are an “other.” Political frustration doesn’t find its satisfaction in bigotry, not here. And then this guy.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): We all know that AOC and this crowd are a bunch of Communists. They hate Israel. They hate our own country. They are socialists. They are anti-Semitic. They stand for all the things that most Americans disagree with.
CUOMO: What happened to Senator Lindsey Graham? You know, he once called this President a race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot. Look it up. But now this. The Senator swallows every serving. He does nothing but affix himself to the Presidential posterior, and that comes with an odor, and it will remain. My team reached out to all of these Republicans in leadership; nearly every Committee Chair or Ranking Member, plus every Republican in leadership in both chambers of Congress. It was a big job. We needed to do it. More than 50 offices called, all right? We emailed, called. You’re looking at the GOP leaders whom we still haven’t heard from. Three commented to the team. By our count, ten others spoke out elsewhere. That’s it. It’s been more than 36 hours since the President tweeted. And I no longer want the off-the-record calls, the helpful people, who call to say, “Oh, you know, we’ve basically had to add another P to GOP, it’s the Grand Old Pity Party now. It’s, ‘oh, we don’t like what he says.’” You get no sympathy. If you hide, your weakness is obvious. What you ignore, you empower. What you rationalize as something other than what it is, you now own. If you don’t call racist BS, like what this President said and did, what it is, then you’re as bad as this President for saying it. And the worst part is you all know it. You know everything I just said, just like this President. Now, that’s the easy part of the argument. The hardest part is what to do. Sadly, this political paroxysm does not make the most important part. The satisfying thing is calling the President out, calling out hate, calling out those who enable, all matters. There is satisfaction to the confrontation, righteous indignation indeed. And yet, those who oppose are still playing the President’s home field in that way. You got to change the game. You can’t let the game change you. The solution here is not the most satisfying part. It’s not calling out what’s wrong. It’s doing that and, all caps, showing what’s right, showing who we are at our best. Do that more than ever. Find ways to show it, pander to it. Be better than what and whom you oppose. That is the power that heals. That’s what we need.