Political strategist and President Donald Trump supporter Jeffrey Lord appeared on CNN Thursday with Don Lemon to discuss Lord calling Trump the “MLK of healthcare.”
Appearing on a panel with Symone Sanders, former press secretary for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, engaged in a heated debate with Lord over his comments.
“Some comparisons you just don’t make,” Lemon told Lord.
“Dr. King wanted to shut things down to draw attention to the lack of civil rights. He was right to do so. I believe it then, I believe it passionately now,” Lord responded, trying to draw a connection between Trump’s strategy of threatening to stop subsidizing funding for the Affordable Care Act and Martin Luther King Jr.’s advancement of civil rights.
“This is a strategy,” Lord added.
Lemon interjected. “You’re a nice enough man, but I don’t think you understand the comparison that you were making… Was it necessary to make that comparison?”
Lord responded that the comparison was, in fact, necessary, and again stressed that it was a strategy, adding that it was a “color blind tactic.”
The conversation became more tense as the three black Americans on the panel, including the host, shared their frustrations with Lord for minimizing Dr. Martin Luther King’s civil rights work. Lord, however, did not budge on his sentiment, telling Lemon he was simply “talking liberal” to him.
“Dr. King means something different to the people here than he means to you. He wasn’t a tactic for us,” he said. “He’s a real person, who helped me to be able to get here and Symone to be able to sit here and for Bakari [Sellers] to be able to sit here… And for you to come on and give some reckless comparison to his work and his legacy,” Lemon said as Lord attempted to talk over him.
“Goodnight. Goodnight, we’re done. Goodnight, we’re done,” Lemon shot back, ending the program four minutes early.
Lord said earlier Thursday on CNN that Trump is threatening to cut subsidies for the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, as a way to force Democrats to negotiate with him on healthcare reform.
“Think of Donald Trump as the Martin Luther King of healthcare,” Lord told CNN host Alisyn Camerota. “When I was a kid, President Kennedy did not want to introduce the civil rights bill because he said it wasn’t popular and he didn’t have the votes for it.”
“Dr. King kept putting people in the streets in harm’s way to put the pressure on so the bill would be introduced,” Lord added.