On Thursday afternoon, CNN host Ana Cabrera argued in favor of the Democrats’ federal takeover of elections as she debated CNN contributor and former Pennsylvania Republican Congressman Charlie Dent on the subject.
Viewers got to see a rare time when the normally liberal Republican who has often argued against his own party since he joined the network a few years ago, actually argued against the Democratic push for a federal takeover.
Cabrera introduced the segment by talking up the need for such actions to thwart alleged bad behavior by Republicans:
Dent immediately argued against voters being allowed to vote on the same day they register and other ways Democrats want to tell states how to run the voting process. A bit later, Cabrera noted that Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin had admitted that some of President Joe Biden’s rhetoric on the subject was hyperbolic, but she also argued that his strong language was justified:
Dent — who later recalled that he had supported Biden for President — admitted that he was offended at some of his public statements. He also complained about the January 6th Capitol riots being exploited as a “pretext” for an overreaction.
But Cabrera pressed on: “But let’s be honest — would it have mattered what the President said as the President tried playing nice with Republicans — Republicans straight up and Mitch McConnell specifically would say, ‘No, we’re not going to work with you on this. Period.'”
This episode of CNN Newsroom with Ana Cabrera was sponsored in part by America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses. Their contact information is linked.
January 13, 2021
1:03 p.m. Eastern
ANA CABRERA: Now, Democrats say passing voting bills at the federal level is necessary when you consider what is happening at the state level. Take a look. Last year, 19 states — most controlled by Republicans — passed laws making it harder to vote, especially for minority voters. The legislation Democrats are fighting for now would override these restrictions by essentially standardizing the way Americans vote.
1:09 p.m. Eastern
CABRERA: Congressman, I know you take issue with the President’s rhetoric — you thought it was too hot — but I still can’t help but think of all of the truly outrageous and offensive things President Trump said that so many Republican lawmakers simply ignored or even defended. And this, of course, is different. This is about fundamental American right to vote — about every eligible voter having fair and equal access to vote. So if playing nice wasn’t getting people to pay attention, was this passion and the fire here warranted?
CHARLIE DENT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I really do think he was too hot and too partisan. And, again, you know, because somebody disagrees with the President of the United States on same-day registration or publicly financed campaigns, which is in part of the legislation just past today in the House. And that doesn’t make you a segregationist or somebody who’s sympathetic to Bull Connor.
I mean, I thought it was rather offensive, and I think that he needs to get — he had an opportunity in Atlanta, I thought, to talk about the John Lewis Voting Rights Act — how we could get a bipartisan agreement on that. I voted to reauthorize it in 2006 — I was proud to do so. We could do that again — and the Electoral Count Act of 1877. That needs to be fixed. And I think he had an opportunity to bring people together.
And they should — Democrats should jettison some of this other stuff that, you know, is really just a wish list of the progressives. And they’re just kind of using that as a pretext, you know, using January 6th as a pretext. So I think the President, you know, really missed a terrible opportunity. And I understand why a lot of Republicans–
CABRERA: But let’s be honest — would it have mattered what the President said as the President tried playing nice with Republicans — Republicans straight up and Mitch McConnell specifically would say, ‘No, we’re not going to work with you on this. Period.”
DENT: Well, Mitch McConnell just said he was prepared to do something on the Electoral Count Act of 1877, which, I mean, there, it’s there. I mean, why not — why not take him at his word? I mean, I just — I just think that the President just really, you know, he said he was going to unite the country. He was going to be the bipartisan guy. I supported him. But I just did not like that — that approach.
And, you know, and they’re all upset with Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin because they both flip-flopped on the filibuster. All these other Democrats flip-flopped on it — make statements about it, but when George Bush was President, “Boy, if we got rid of the filibuster, that would lead to extremism and dictatorship.” Now, I mean, that’s what said then, some of them. Now, here we are, and they’re saying that we have to get rid of it, “If we don’t get rid of it, we will havr a dictatorship and autocracy.”