PASADENA — Conservative commentator and bestselling author Ann Coulter duked it out against progressive CNN political pundit and former Obama administration “green jobs czar” Van Jones at this year’s “Politicon” convention.
The event was moderated by Politico Playbook co-editor Anna Palmer.
Coulter and Jones clashed on many points, although there were points throughout the debate where both found common ground, and especially when it came to the black vote.
“I think Donald Trump absolutely gets more of the African-American vote,” Coulter said, noting that he would not garner more of that vote than Hillary Clinton, but certainly “more than any other Republican since [Richard] Nixon.” She had previously pointed out that Trump will likely receive the same 30 percent of support from the Latino vote “that every Republican always gets.”
The audience chuckled in response, but Jones chimed in: “You guys shouldn’t laugh at that.” He said if Trump were a “more disciplined candidate,” he could have exposed a tremendous “weakness of the Obama coalition” in supporting Clinton.
Some black activists have started linking President Bill Clinton and the former First Lady to the current social upheaval around crime and policing. As one black supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) told Breitbart News recently, “Bill Clinton made black lives worth less” when he passed legislation “to criminalize people for what he blamed were the black people with the crack cocaine problem, he opened up the prisons, did the three strikes your out, [and] he privatized the prisons.”
Earlier in the debate, Coulter pointed out that self-described “Democratic socialist” candidate Bernie Sanders was right in questioning and challenging the presumptive Democratic nominee over her ties with Wall Street, and for attacking a political establishment that is bent on “serving the rich and not serving the voters.”
Coulter added, “they just keep saying screw you to their voters. And all they care about are donors and how we need the money to run the campaign.”
The conversation then transitioned to immigration, where Jones pointed out that he “loves it” when the Republican Party talks about things like trade and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). “It’s like a warm, nutritious bowl of vegetable soup. And then, you put in the anti-immigrant poop and then I can’t eat it!”
Coulter noted the same disenchantment in the United Kingdom, which resulted in the vote to “leave” the European Union, known as Brexit. She argued that the same sentiment has already arrived here in the United States, and that the same immigration policies touted by progressives and the left were the reason. “Brexit was about immigration. Trump is about immigration,” she said. She added that the issue is whether or not the government is putting the needs of U.S. citizens and “the people who already live here” before others.
Jones countered, pointing out that President Barack Obama has been granted the nickname “Deporter-in-Chief” because he has “deported more people than any other president has ever done … it is not true that we have an open border.”
Coulter countered and said publications like the Huffington Post that falsely label Obama as “Deporter-in-Chief” had “redefined what counts as a deportation. Up until Obama, a deportation meant you were in the country, they caught you and deported you. Obama started counting turning people away at the border,” she pointed out.
“That’s like changing the grade. The passing grade is now going to be 40 instead of 70. And look at all the kids who are going to pass!”
She concluded: “The immigrants who are already here are going to be a big part of the vote for Trump. They’re the ones whose wages are being driven down; it’s not you. It’s not me. It’s probably not a lot of people in this audience.” She then blasted the hypocrisy of some of those present, suggesting “on the contrary, you’re probably happy because you get such cheap labor.”
She added, “You know in L.A. you want pool boys even if you don’t have a pool… The idea that you are the ones who are speaking for low-wage workers is preposterous… It’s good for you, it’s bad for your maid.”
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