CNN Boosts Van Jones Talking Point; Hypes Tea Party is Pushing GOP 'So Far to the Right'
CNN's Chris Cuomo forwarded a liberal talking point about the infighting inside the Republican Party on Tuesday's New Day, as he covered the primary elections in several states that day. Cuomo asked Republican strategist Kevin Madden, "Are you worried that these challenges are pushing your mainstream or establishment or traditional candidates farther to the right than they might be may like?"
The anchor could very well have gotten his talking point from colleague Van Jones, as the left-wing Crossfire host made the same argument just over two hours later during a panel discussion with Republican Ana Navarro: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
VAN JONES: ...It looks like the Tea Party might lose some of these battles, but they've already won the war. So many of these so-called establishment Republicans now have been pulled so far to the right. You have establishment Republicans now saying that they are against the minimum wage – not against raising it – against having it. And you don't hear any establishment Republicans pushing back on this line. In fact, establishment Republicans are now coming out. Now, listen, abolishing the minimum wage is about three percent popular anywhere except for a Tea Party rally. So, you could have a situation where the Tea Party candidates lose, but the Tea Party agenda has already taken over the Republican Party, which sets us up great as Democrats in November. What do you think about that?
Navarro retorted that "I'm old enough to remember Blue Dog Democrats. I was friends with a few of them. They are an endangered species in Congress today, because moderate Democrats have also disappeared from the map."
During the earlier segment, Madden replied to Cuomo's slanted question by calling it out as oft-used assertion by Democrats:
KEVIN MADDEN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: No, that's a – that's a Democratic talking point, but it's one that's really not rooted in reality. One of the reasons that Republicans are doing so well right now is that a lot of the issues that people care about right now – of course, ObamaCare is really important to a lot of these voters – but issues like whether or not the government is actually working efficiently; some of the reforms that we need in Washington, as relates to spending and taxing.
Republicans are winning those debates – not only with their own base voters, but we're winning independent voters right now. So, we've won the big middle; we've won our base; and we're actually having a lot of conservative Democrats, who think that the Obama administration has gone too far with a lot of big government policies – they're actually taking a look at Republicans, too. So, that's one of the reasons why we're going to win in November.
Minutes earlier, CNN political reporter Peter Hamby hyped how "in Georgia, there were real fears among Republicans in Washington that Republicans would nominate Phil Gingrey or Paul Brown – two very conservative congressmen. But right now, it looks like more business-friendly, establishment-backed candidates will probably win that nomination."
New Day co-anchor Michaela Pereira later followed the lead of Cuomo and Hamby during a news brief later in the program:
MICHAELA PEREIRA: A big primary day with important races in six states, where key political players could be toppled. The big question in four of them: how much muscle does the Tea Party have? Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell facing a challenge from the far right. Even if he prevails today, he faces a tough fight to keep the seat in the fall.