Monday night, CNN’s Chris Cuomo argued that Antifa is protesting for a good cause. Somewhat surprisingly, two other CNNers pushed back against that disturbing notion–Rob Astorino and Steve Cortes.
The discussion originated with lefty Cuomo trying to once again raise back up the divisive notion that a comment President Trump made almost two years ago was abhorrent … that is, when in the aftermath of the Charlottesville, Virginia, protest against the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue, presidential candidate Trump said that there were “fine people” on both sides of the issue.
“You can talk about Antifa,” said Cuomo. “I’ve watched them in streets protesting in different situations, OK? There are certainly aspects of them that are true to a cause, that is a good cause, they want social justice, they want whatever they want in that context.”
“Chris, Antifa is not a good cause,” Cortes responded. “Antifa does not have good aims. Antifa wants power … wants political power, taken through force. That’s what Antifa is all about.”
Cuomo tried to convince viewers that the confrontation between the groups in Charlottesville was a battle of good versus evil and that Trump could not make the differentiation. “Whether you want to talk about any of the groups that assembled that day to fight against Neo-Nazis, you make a moral equivalent between those two actions you’re making a mistake in America. The president did it that day and you know it was a mistake. I don’t know why you don’t own that,” Cuomo said.
“I do not make any differentiation between Neo-Nazis and Antifa. Their tactics are in fact totally fascists.”
“One is to kill people they don’t like,” Cuomo interjected. Them speaking about Antifa, he added, “The other group has abhorrent actors within their ranks but the groups were not created to destroy parts of humanity.”
“It’s not abhorrent when they put on masks and helmets and show up with clubs to damage property and hurt people?” asked Cortes. “They are America’s brown shirts and there’s no difference between them and the Neo-Nazis. Both sides are thugs and reprehensible. A lot of people showed up to do harm and there was also good people on both sides. You said there was no one good protesting.
“Who would disagree with you,” continued Cortes, “is The New York Times that quoted in August they interviewed Michelle Percy that showed up with a group of people who according to The New York Times had no interest in racism but they did have interest in free speech.”
Cortes added, “We’ve had this debate many times. You’re trying to tell me that simply because they’re leftist that they are somehow morally superior to violent far right. Both of them are reprehensible.”
“You can’t say they’re designed to kill the people they don’t like,” Cuomo said as he still tried to defend the anarchist/communist Antifa.
“It doesn’t matter what they’re designed for,” said Astorino. “It’s what they’re becoming. They’re becoming not just radical, but violent. That’s to be condemned just as harshly as any other hate group out there.”
“They have taken over Portland,” added Cortes. “When they had that incident the police wouldn’t even respond because they have become so violent. These are areas of concern.”
Cuomo has gone to bat for Antifa before. Last year, he said, “When someone comes to call out bigots and it gets hot, even physical, are they equally wrong as the bigot they are fighting? I argue no.”
Watch the heated conversation from last night …
Video by CNN