comScore

Anderson Cooper to Trump Defender’s ‘Punching Back’ Excuse for McCain Attacks: ‘He’s Punching a Person Who’s Dead’

CNN host Anderson Cooper shut down a pro-Trump guest’s excuse for Donald Trump‘s continued attacks on the late Sen. John McCain by noting that Trump is attacking a man who “can’t fight back because he’s dead.”

On Tuesday night’s edition of Anderson Cooper 360, Cooper hosted a lengthy debate segment between anti-Trump Republican strategist Ana Navarro and pro-Trump strategist Adolfo Franco — each of whom knew McCain personally — to discuss Trump’s attacks against the widely-revered late senator.

Navarro began by suggesting that McCain would derive “satisfaction” from the fact that “even after death, he is still haunting Donald Trump,” and drew a contrast between McCain’s service and sacrifice for his country, and Trump’s not that.

Franco, on the other hand, spent most of his screen time chalking Trump’s attacks up to “style,” as when he told Cooper and Navarro that “The president’s style is when he is attacked, he says I’ll punch back. He has been criticized strongly by some members of the McCain family, and certainly as he said today with his interview about Senator McCain, he made reference to the ObamaCare vote. That was a huge disappointment to President Trump.”

“I understand the whole counterpunching thing, which is a line we heard a lot from the president,” Cooper said, but added “He’s punching at a person who is dead. He is punching at a person that can’t fight back because he’s dead.”

The closest Franco would come to condemning Trump was to say that such attacks “would not necessarily be my style,” and that he wished Trump would stick to trashing things that McCain had done, rather than McCain himself.

When Navarro called Franco out for failing to condemn Trump, he said “I don’t know if that would aid the discourse now to lash out at the president, and hit his style and so forth. Let’s just say — let’s just focus in on the issues that have been the catalyst for these comments.”

Franco also defended Trump on the basis that he trashes lots of people, not just McCain, and added “This is not necessarily how I would approach things, or the way Ana or you would, but to say this is singling out someone that, again I revere and respect, that… that would be a huge story.”

Imagine being that guy.

Watch the clip above, via CNN.

Have a tip we should know? tips@mediaite.com

Filed Under:

Follow Mediaite: