Speaking at the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation on Tuesday, TheBlaze's S.E. Cupp, also a co-host of CNN's "Crossfire" reboot, said getting to know her new CNN colleague Van Jones has been "a very pleasant surprise."
"Without putting him on the couch, he is a nice guy. He is genuinely a nice guy," Cupp said, when asked about Jones, a former Obama administration official and now also a "Crossfire" co-host. "Before I met him, I had heard this. I had heard rumors that he was a wonderful person. And a lot of people were telling me he's incredibly thoughtful, deep thinker, very open minded, very sweet and he is all of that. We disagree fundamentally on the way we see the world, no getting around it. I think his opinions for the most part are wrong. ... But he is a wonderful, warm person and you're allowed to be that. That's okay. I'm not going to hold that against him. Or hate him for it. It's great. He's been a very pleasant surprise."
Cupp also gave her thoughts on "Crossfire's" first episode, which aired Monday but without Cupp or Jones... It was hosted by the other half of the show's regulars, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former deputy manager to the Obama 2012 campaign Stephanie Cutter.
Some (including me) thought Cutter and Gingrich gave a rocky start for the show's debut. Neither of them have hosted their own shows before and neither of them are clearly naturals at the job, a problem that can be fixed with practice over time.
"Well what's great is that you don't-- Newt's personality is so compelling and unpredictable and charming in many ways that you really don't have to have hosted a show to be someone who's fun to watch," Cupp said, after considering for a moment how best to answer. "And I think he fits in that category." She went on to describe Cutter as "very tough" and "no nonsense."
She continued, "these shows, they take time. A lot of the things you do before a show to prepare for it is good but doesn't ultimately determine whether a show's going to work or not. These are things that happen naturally, organically, over time, with practice."
Cupp and Jones take their first shot at hosting the show Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. ET.