CNN host Chris Cuomo called President Donald Trump an “autocrat” during a Monday night “Cuomo Prime Time” discussion with Republican New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu.
The debate centered on Cuomo’s criticisms of Trump’s policies and rhetoric versus Sununu’s approval of the president’s actual accomplishments.
“He does not talk to people or about people in a way that you ever have in your campaign,” Cuomo said. “You’re endorsing the way he speaks, not just the policies. Are you okay with that?”
Cuomo brushed off Sununu’s contention that his “style” differs from the president, insisting that he is “owning it” by endorsing Trump.
“No, that’s absolutely not true,” the New Hampshire governor responded. “Donald Trump does not define Chris Sununu. He doesn’t even define the Republican Party. Right? One person, one point in time, one event does not define the party and where we need to go as a country … And at the end of the day, it’s about results. Do I like the way the president talks all the time? Absolutely not. I don’t like how he says certain things. I don’t like the hyperbole and some of the vulgar language he uses, of course not. But this is really fundamentally about where we’re going to go. Are we going to back a socialist or are we going to back American democracy and people having their own say and having the chance to guide their own path forward?”
Cuomo acknowledged Sununu’s “fear of socialism,” but pushed back by recalling when Trump called New Hampshire a “drug-infested den.” (RELATED: Eric Metaxas, Chris Cuomo Clash Over Christian Support For Trump)
“And you say you don’t want a socialist, but you’re okay with an autocrat that says, ‘Don’t believe the free press. The FBI is out to get you. You can’t trust any of the institutions of government unless they agree with me,'” Cuomo said. “These are things that you would never say, that you would never allow in an opponent and you would never endorse and yet you’re endorsing the president. I don’t get how you accept that part of it.”
“Government has to be about results,” Sununu insisted. “It has to have accountability. The days of we’re just going to say this, and say this, and really not do anything. We’re going to say we’re going to fight regulatory reform, but not do it. We have presidents who say they’re going to fight for better deals overseas and never done it. This president gets results.”