On Wednesday's New Day on CNN, as Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson appeared as a guest to discuss the aftermath of Donald Trump's election to the presidency, co-host Chris Cuomo repeatedly pressed his GOP guest on what the new President would do to make it up to those who did not support him who might feel like they were victims of "division and anger" during his campaign.
After Senator Johnson eventually chided Cuomo for "starting out pretty negative today," the CNN host bristled as he lectured back at his GOP guest: "I couldn't agree with you more about keeping the positive, but for you to put it on the media for just repeating what Donald Trump said -- and you ducked for your entire campaign -- is a little hard to swallow."
At 7:50 a.m. ET, after Cuomo's first question was devoted to asking Senator Johnson about his perception of what happened in the election in his home state, the CNN host spent the rest of the segment pressing the Wisconsin Republican on whether Trump would be able to work with those who had been targets of "anger and division" from the Trump campaign. Cuomo's first follow up:
If only it were as simple as "Let's do better than the status quo," but this morning you have literally half or more than half of the country -- because Clinton is ahead in the popular vote right now -- who are, in different measures, afraid that they'll be excluded, that they'll be targeted, that Donald Trump ran on a message that you're very familiar with and struggled with yourself. Which was one of division and anger. What do you say to those people?
After Senator Johnson assured the CNN host that Trump would work with those who did not support him, Cuomo pressed again as he followed up:
Except that that's not what he said, Senator, you know, I mean, he is President-elect. Donald Trump. And he did say that there are meaningful divisions in this society that he hopes to expose and make more obvious. to people, you know, whether it's the wall or how he feels about Muslims. Those things matter, too. He got elected on the basis of those. He does have to deliver, in an ironic way, no?
Still not satisfied with Senator Johnson's assurances, Cuomo jumped in to add: "Right, but that's not how he campaigned, Senator. That's not how he campaigned."
After Senator Johnson talked about trying to improve the economy, Cuomo dismissed the goal of a four percent growth rate and went back to fretting over "obnoxious things that were said" by Trump during the campaign:
Well, it's not just moving again, right? He says a four percent growth is what he wants to see out of the economy, and we haven't seen that in a very, very long time. All right, so let me grant you, especially in this after glow of the election, right? We're just hours into these victories.
That some of these more obnoxious things that were said during the campaign aren't put at the top of the list. Okay. You have practical concerns where President-elect Trump has very stark disagreement with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, whether it's trade or building a wall. What do you do there?
After again assuring Cuomo that Trump would work effectively with those who opposed him, Johnson admonished the liberal CNN host as he added:
Donald Trump, I thought, did a good job last night saying he's going to be the President of every American. Let's accentuate the positive. Boy, you guys are starting out pretty negative today. Let's accentuate the positive, understanding that we all share the same goal. We all want a safe, prosperous, secure America. If you start there, you know, keep it positive, guys, you know, I think we can really accomplish a lot.
Cuomo then hit back at the Wisconsin Senator for criticizing him as he wrapped up the segment:
Senator Johnson, I couldn't agree with you more about keeping the positive, but for you to put it on the media for just repeating what Donald Trump said -- and you ducked for your entire campaign -- is a little hard to swallow. But I will put it this way: We all want to see better days ahead. Let's hope they happen, and soon. Senator, congratulations on your win last night.