During the handoff between their respective shows, Lemon and fellow left-wing host Chris Cuomo agreed that Democrats had a messaging problem when it came to communicating their agenda, but Lemon took it a step further, becoming agitated as he called Democrats “weak” and accused them of not being passionate enough about “saving” America.
“Democrats get your butts in gear and get passionate about saving this damn country! You’re not doing it. You’re weak. You are weak. You are weak,” Lemon said as he beat his hand on his desk.
“If you get someone in a ruby red state or rural state to understand that … then it’s a win for you,” Lemon said. “Republicans … are going around the country and they are winning with a lie. They’re able to get people on their side with a total lie and Democrats can’t get people motivated with the truth that will help them.”
“So what is going on with you? Why are you so bad at politicking? Why are you so bad at politics, Democrats?” Lemon added. “When you have the winning message, when you have the Senate and you have the Congress and you have the White House and you can’t win with a winning message, something is wrong.”
“And it’s not that the Republicans are doing this and that. They’re better at the messaging than you are! That’s what it is! It’s not the Republicans’ fault, it’s your fault. You have yourself to blame, Democrats. Get it together,” he said.
Cuomo agreed Democrats needed to “up their game,” but also argued they appeared weak because they weren’t organized within their own ranks. He added that some sort of spending bill would eventually get passed, but that the win wouldn’t be as impressive because of how Democrats handled the process.
Lemon claimed it was necessary for Democrats to win on getting the spending bill passed because democracy was on the line. He implored them to do whatever it took to get their message across, including having President Joe Biden use the “bully pulpit” to change the narrative over the spending bill.
“When you say I’m going to have a press conference, I’m inviting the media to do this, I’m going to actually go into the press room with Jen Psaki and I’m going to show up there sometimes and surprise people and guess what? I’m going to pull the nation in with my narrative,” Lemon said as he became increasingly frustrated. “I’m going to tell them what is in the bill. I’m going to tell them what I’m selling that is going to help them … I’m not just going to sit back and expect the news media to do it for me because it’s not our job to sell the narrative … It’s not our job to sell your agenda for you.”
“The only reason that I’m so enthusiastic about this is because our democracy is on the line and I don’t want America to lose its democracy. I don’t want America to be a country of minority rule and I don’t want America to be a place where Black and Brown people like me, whose ancestors fought and died for the right to vote, are restricted from going to the voting booth,” he added.