Republican Mary Matalin threw down with Democrat Van Jones over his viral "white-lash" accusation he let fly Tuesday when voters elected GOP nominee Donald Trump president — and things soon got heated between the political strategists.
Matalin told Jones on ABC's "This Week With George Stephanopoulos" Sunday that he should repudiate his "white-lash" comments, adding that, "if you don't, you're wrong." Matalin also said that focusing on the "toxic stuff" isn't the "path for progressives."
Amid comments to the contrary, Matalin's body language spoke volumes:
Image source: Twitter
But then Jones spoke up and defended his comments: "I said — and I stand by it — I said that race was a part ... that alt-right part ... of a white-lash. And if you listen the whole quote, you'd agree with what I said, so I don't take that back."
Matalin shot back, telling Jones, "I did listen, and at the end you said, 'What do I tell the kids?' What I would tell your kids: 'I'm a black man in America who went to Yale, who's written books, who served a president."
That got under Jones' skin.
"And I'm a ninth-generation American, ma'am, and I'm the first one in my family born with all my rights," Jones told Matalin. "I'm a ninth-generation American. And so we have not escaped — because I went to Yale — all the problems of this country."
Van Jones (Image source: Twitter)
"And you should not be a racial polemicist," Matalin said. "You should be a racial reconciler."
"You should be ashamed of yourself to say that to me to my face," an annoyed Jones replied. "I have spent more time in this country—"
"To say it behind your back would be better?" Matalin replied.
"Hold on a second," Jones continued. "I spent more time than you have trying to be a racial reconciler in this country."
"Really?" Matalin retorted. "How do you know that? Do you anything about me? Do you know anything about me?"
"Apparently you don't know anything about me," Jones said.
"Yes, I do know," Matalin replied. "Your daddy, your grandparents were teachers. Your grandfather was a bishop."
"George, this is a problem that we have right now," Jones stated. "It is, in fact, the case that there was a populist revolt in this country — both Sanders and Trump — but one of them was marbled through with this alt-right stuff. If someone like myself, who is married to a white woman, who has spent my entire life building bridges, can't point out the alt-right, white-lash reaction without being accused of being a racial polemicist, we're gonna have a big problem in this country."
Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of the Nation, tore into Matalin for her words as well: "Have you no sense of decency to say that to a man who's been a healer throughout a horrific, brutal campaign? He has spoken sanity to power."
Matalin didn't back down, however.
"OK," she replied to vanden Heuvel with mock sorrow. "My deepest apologies." Matalin then repeated to Jones that "you don't know anything about me. You don't know anything about my healing, and I would say there are ways to get to reconciliation different from ... focusing on the toxic elements as you did on Election Night."
(H/T: The Right Scoop)