CNN’s Anderson Cooper tried to cut off a guest panelist speaking about Israel’s atrocities in Gaza, during a segment on the number of “uncommitted” votes in Michigan’s presidential primary.
Former Ohio state Senator Nina Turner was reacting to the early results Tuesday evening, which had already revealed a high number of votes for “uncommitted,” thanks to a protest campaign over President Biden’s horrific backing of Israel’s war on Gaza.
“I am young enough to remember, colleagues, when Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib and also Congresswoman Cori Bush called for a cease-fire very early on, they were called abhorrent,” said Turner, who’s been a vocal supporter of the uncommitted vote protest campaign. “And now fast forward to all of these bodies laying in the wake, and people are living through this every single day.”
“By the way, there’s also been slaughter in Israel,” Cooper interrupted, as other panelists also tried to jump in.
“So there’s a lot of pain on both sides,” Cooper continued, questioning why Turner was giving a “lecture on the problem.”
“I’m talking about the politics of this tonight,” he stated. “What, to you, would be a victory, as someone who was calling for this ‘uncommitted’ vote?”
“I’m not denying that pain,” Turner responded. “All I’m saying is that at a certain point after October 7, it becomes clear. I mean, you have a right-wing prime minister.”
“Right. We don’t need to debate the issue,” Cooper interrupted again.
The whole exchange is mind-boggling and worth watching in full to see just how much Cooper and other CNN panelists seem to be missing the point.
More than 100,000 Democratic voters in Michigan’s primary election Tuesday chose to show up to the polls and check the “uncommitted” box rather than vote for Biden. That’s about 13 percent of voters, or 1 in 7 people.
The reason for that protest vote is clear: organizers of the “Listen to Michigan” and “Abandon Biden” campaigns spent weeks reaching out to Democratic voters, urging them to make their voice known—and help send a wake-up call to Biden on his support for Israel’s atrocities in Gaza.
So despite what Cooper said Tuesday evening, it is actually critical to talk about Gaza in any analysis of Michigan’s results. Talking about Israel’s bombing of Gaza—and how Biden is backing that bombing—is the actual politics of the issue.
“I think sometimes as we’re talking about this issue, we are centering President Biden, we are centering former President Donald Trump, when the ‘uncommitted’ effort is the center, the people closest to the pain, and that is the Arab American community, that is the Palestinian community, that is communities that care about peace,” Turner said on CNN Tuesday evening.
“And so while this president was in the ice cream shop saying, ‘I think there’s going to be a ceasefire,’ 30,000 people have been slaughtered. People are living in famine. They can’t get medical care. So it can’t come soon enough for them, and that was really the weight that I picked up on when I was in Dearborn, [Michigan].”