CNN Panel Erupts as Anderson Cooper, Van Jones Clash With Rick Santorum Over His Defense of Trump’s False Election Fraud Claims: ‘You Can Polish This Turd All You Want’

 

CNN’s  Van Jones sparred with Rick Santorum in a wide-ranging panel discussion where the former Pennsylvania senator tried to claim voter suppression isn’t a real phenomenon and that President Donald Trump hasn’t smeared voters for cheating to defeat him.

During the segment on Wednesday evening, Jones started out by attacking Republicans for pushing voter suppression policies.

“I do think that what I’m hearing over and over again are folks are feeling like there is a lot of voter suppression,” Jones said. “We feel like you guys don’t want us to vote. You feel like there is a bunch of voter fraud and cheating going on.”

“If we’re into voter suppression, we did a lousy job, because there was a record turnout,” a smiling Santorum joked.

“When you have to wait in line for nine hours” to vote, Jones noted, “that is voter suppression.”

Moments later, Santorum tried to defend the president’s increasingly frantic and conspiratorial rhetoric about an election in which his vote totals are falling further and further behind in several key states.

“First off, Trump is not accusing voters of cheating,” Santorum claimed. “He is looking at people within — he is talking about people who are counting the votes. That is not all these organizations you mentioned. He is talking about the people who are in there doing -—not applying the law way they should. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong.”

“You can polish this turd all you want,” Jones shot back.

“It’s not polishing!” a defensive Santorum quickly responded.

“This is an insult to the people who have done the work,” Jones said.

“No it’s not. That’s not what it’s about.”

“It is going to incite people, to come out and incite people,” Jones warned.

“I’m not saying you should do it. I’m just telling you what he is going to do,” Santorum said, trying to avoid endorsing what Trump is likely to say in an upcoming press conference later that evening.

“The other thing that you’re seeing is armed protesters going to disrupt, going to challenge people who are counting the vote. Now, I cannot imagine what would happen,” Jones noted.

“You’re characterizing people who are standing there chanting as you would call it because you’ve been calling it for the last six months ‘peacefully protesting’ who actually are peacefully protesting,” Santorum responded. “They’re not throwing rocks. They’re not shooting anybody. They’re not breaking windows. They’re standing there saying count the votes. That’s what they’re saying.”

“If the shoe were on the other foot, if Black Lives Matter, if Black Lives Matter showed up with guns to where white people are counting votes I think you understand the level of concern,” Jones shouted to Santorum.

Anderson Cooper then joined the fray and recounted an infamous moment from the 2008 election, where several unarmed New Black Panther members were videotaped standing peacefully outside a polling location in Philadelphia.

“You remember when like four Black Panthers showed up a couple years ago at a polling place and Fox News lost their frigging minds?” Cooper shot back at Santorum.

“For years!” Jones added.

As Santorum tried to agree that threats of violence against election officials is wrong, Gloria Borger pointed out that ballot counters have already had to take additional security measures over concerns from pro-Trump supporters massing outside the vote-counting buidlings.

“They’re poll workers,” she said. “And now they have security and they’re afraid and they’re afraid to go do their job, which is to count the votes.”

Watch the video above, via CNN.

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