The low-rated host asked Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., if moderates like Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, W-Va., were living in the past with their hopes that coal jobs could be saved in a modern economy.
Bowman responded that the Green New Deal would help people in the fossil fuel industry maintain their jobs as “we come together to deal with the issue of climate change,” noting that Hurricane Ida recently walloped New York and New Jersey.
“That’s going to happen more frequently, so we have to get to a place of clean, renewable energy,” Bowman said.
Lemon, who didn’t appear to be listening to Bowman’s answer, instead looking down at his desk, started to ask his next question while the congressman was still speaking.
“Are you concerned that it looks like your party is blowing it and that Democrats can’t govern? You know that has huge ramifications, it has a ripple effect,” Lemon said. “Look at what’s happening in Virginia and other places where the elections are coming up. I’m going to be sitting here covering elections next week, and then for 2022 and 2024. If you guys can’t come to an agreement on this.”
Bowman, one of the furthest left members of Congress, responded, “Governing is about negotiation, right? And negotiating takes time.”
“I understand that, that’s true,” Lemon said. “That’s not what I’m saying. I’m not talking about negotiating. But governing is also gaining control of a narrative, being able to indicate to voters and to convince them to come aboard, tell them what you’re doing, and also to negotiate and agree.”
Bowman interrupted, “In my district, Don, if I may interject briefly, in my district, people are excited that someone is finally fighting for them.”
“Your district is not the country,” Lemon shot back. “Your district is not the country, I understand that you have to look out for your district.”
Bowman then declared polling shows people across the country want the Build Back Better act to be passed.
“When you look at polling across the country, the American people don’t know what Democrats are doing. They see that there is infighting among Democrats. The president’s poll numbers are sinking,” Lemon said. “It’s not just about what’s happening in your individual districts … There is also a broader picture happening … It doesn’t look like you guys understand the urgency in a moment that you’re in right now.”
Bowman predicted that Biden’s poll numbers would go back up before 2022 midterms.
Republicans have ripped Build Back Better, a proposed $3.5 trillion reconciliation package, as a massive bill that “ultimately provides benefits to wealthy liberal elites at the expense of working-class families.”
Moderate Democrats are pushing for a smaller bill with the still hefty price tag of $1.5 trillion to $2 trillion.
CNN’s “Don Lemon Tonight” is on pace to finish October with its smallest monthly audience of 2021 among both total viewers and the advertiser-coveted demographic of adults age 25-54. If his program doesn’t pick up significant viewers over the final days of October, it would be Lemon’s worst month among the demo since June 2014.
Fox News’ Cortney O’Brien contributed to this report.