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Trump’s reaction to John McCain’s death sparks a heated CNN debate

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Screen Shot 2018 08 27 at 8.47.13 PM
From left to right, former representative of South
Carolina Bakari Sellers, CNN host Chris Cuomo, and former senator
of Pennsylvania Rick Santorum.

CNN

  • President Donald Trump’s mixed reaction to Sen. John
    McCain’s death fueled a heated CNN debate on Monday
    night.
  • Lawmakers from both political parties rebuked the
    president for the way he handled McCain’s passing, which
    included criticism over the lowering of flags at the White
    House

President Donald Trump’s mixed reaction to the death of Sen. John
McCain fueled a CNN debate on Monday night, during which
panelists took verbal shots at each other over the proper way to
honor the longtime senator and Vietnam War veteran who died
Saturday after a long battle with brain cancer.

A discussion between former Democratic South Carolina
representative Bakari Sellers, CNN host Chris Cuomo, and former
Republican Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, went off the rails
as they examined Trump’s action and inaction in the first 48
hours after McCain’s death.

The CNN panelists on Monday night acknowledged McCain’s sacrifices to his country, but
Santorum insisted that Trump’s response was not relevant to the
public discourse.

“I just don’t think it does anything to the memory of John McCain
to use him as a cudgel to beat up the president at this point,”
Santorum said. “Let’s focus on the man and what he did, and his
life — but the media seems to have this fascination to try to use
the death of John McCain to further betlittle and beat up Donald
Trump.”

Cuomo asked, jokingly: “You think we need this to find reasons to
criticise him?


John McCain
Sen.
John McCain of Arizona.

REUTERS/Aaron
P. Bernstein


Sellers said of Trump’s behavior around McCain’s passing:

“I think what we’re seeing right now is that Donald Trump has
turned this Republican Party into one of cowardice,” accusing
Santorum of trying to “contort themselves into pretzels” in order
to defend Trump.

Sellers continued: “You have a president this week who did not
stand up and show the best of what we can be.”

“You don’t have to cow-tow like Rick’s doing right now on TV and
make excuses for a president who does not deserve excuses,”
Sellers said.

Santorum fired back with a reference to Cuomo’s older brother,
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who was chastised after claiming
America “was never that great” during a speech on Wednesday.

Gov. Cuomo’s earlier remarks, which were made during a
bill-signing ceremony in New York City last week, drew some sharp
response. He later walked back the comment. Here’s the full
quote,
via The Washington Post
:

“We’
re not going to make America great again;
it was never that great. We have not reached greatness. We will
reach greatness when every American is fully engaged.”

On his CNN interview Monday night, Santorum said Gov.
Cuomo’s comments amounted to an indictment of America. He
“doesn’t think America is exceptional, that America is a deeply
flawed country,” Santorum said.

“You’re so petty,” Sellers said, shaking his head.

The CNN host Chris Cuomo jumped in: “Come on, don’t play cheap,”
he said. “You talk about my brother … you can’t do better than
that? I’ll give you a hundred things about my brother that are
true that are much worse than that.”

Amid all the bickering, Sellers sought to bring the focus back to
the late Arizona senator: “I will just say this, John McCain
deserves a better dialogue than what we’re having right now.”

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