comScore CNN Debate Over Cindy Hyde-Smith Explodes: If You Interrupt Me, I’ll Interrupt You Back, ‘Jerk!’

CNN Debate Over Cindy Hyde-Smith Explodes: If You Interrupt Me, I’ll Interrupt You Back, ‘Jerk!’

This one just might be the cable news fight of the year.

During the second hour of Monday’s CNN Tonight, host Don Lemon welcomed in a panel to discuss embattled Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith‘s (R-MS) controversies with matters pertaining to race. Sharing the screen along with progressive CNN commentator Nina Turner were longtime conservatives Scott Jennings and Max Boot — the latter of whom recently left the Republican party out of opposition to President Donald Trump.

And over the course of six awkward, explosive, impossible-to-look-away-from minutes, Jennings and Boot absolutely threw down — with Boot slamming Jennings for not being willing to call out Hyde-Smith, and Jennings ripping Boot as a Republican party turncoat whose opinion he no longer values.

The fireworks began when Jennings said it didn’t surprise him to see Trump fighting so hard to see Hyde-Smith win reelection on Tuesday. Boot was none too pleased by analysis from Jennings which he saw as too detached.

“We’ve had these kinds of discussions before,” Boot said. “Where you offer this kinds of values-neutral horse race of what should be extremely disturbing –”

Jennings interjected.

“Listen, brother,” Jennings said. “I don’t answer to you. We come on these shows, and you jump all over me. I don’t answer to you, Max Boot! You left the Republican Party! I don’t answer to you.”

Boot snapped at Jennings for interrupting.

“Is this your show, or can I make a comment?!” Boot said.

“You interrupted me!” Jennings replied. “So I’ll interrupt you back. Jerk!”

Boot then accused Jennings of bloviating.

“You’re trying to filibuster because you’re embarrassed by what I’m going to say!” Boot said.

“No, I’m embarrassed to sit here with you, Max!” Jennings said.


“With your sanctimonious bullcrap!” Jennings replied.

“Okay, I’m embarrassed by your filibustering,” Boot said. “And I’m embarrassed by the fact you will not call out this blatant racism on the part of Cindy Hyde-Smith, and Donald Trump! You offer this kind of values-neutral horse race analysis. And you refuse to condemn the bigotry of the Republican Party, the party of Lincoln! This is a disgrace to what the Republican Party has stood for for so much of its history!”

Soon after this initial back-and-forth, Nina Turner spoke for a bit — effectively hitting the pause button on what had been a brutal exchange. But before the segment concluded, Jennings and Boot slugged it out once agin — finishing off one of the more contentious, feisty cable news panel debates in some time.

Watch above, via CNN.

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Joe DePaolo is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @joe_depaolo