Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was on the receiving end of CNN’s Chris Cuomo’s wrath for his opposition to the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.
During his blistering rebuke, Cuomo matched up McConnell’s rhetoric with a clip of a senator who, more than half a century ago, used similar arguments to defend Jim Crow.
“Of course, McConnell says the bill won’t have his vote. But listen to why,” said Cuomo, playing the tape. “What they’re trying to do directly through H.R. 1, they would try to achieve indirectly through this rewrite of the Voting Rights Act,” said McConnell in the clip. “It’s against the law to discriminate in voting on the basis of race already. And so I think it’s unnecessary.”
“He thinks it’s ‘unnecessary’ because he wants those elections to come and go to generate the lawsuits to take the time to fight the laws in every state, while allowing the party to benefit from it. That’s what he wants,” said Cuomo. “And the nonchalance, the pretending that it doesn’t matter, is so similar to what we heard from supporters of Jim Crow, like segregationist Senator James Eastland from Mississippi in 1957. Listen to him.”
He added: “We have no voting qualifications based on race,” said Eastland in the clip. “Not at all. And anybody who is qualified can vote. I would like to see if just what we have, that everyone who is qualified should vote. Our qualifications … are written in the law that applies to all races alike.”
“The game then and now, ugly and obvious,” Cuomo said. “McConnell is dead-set on not doing anything that might hurt Trump’s chances of winning again. Back then, the guy was just a bigot. Now it’s about holding on to power, no matter if it engages racism. Hold black people down. Worth it. Hold down any legislation that Biden could campaign on. Worth it. No matter what it means for the country. Worth it.”
Watch the segment below via CNN.