CNBC anchor Joe Kernen was forced on Friday to define for House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D) the meaning of "bipartisan."
Appearing on CNBC's "Squawk Box," the No.1 House Democrat repeatedly blamed "extreme MAGA Republicans" for the likely government shutdown.
Jeffries claimed House Republicans are adopting a "my way or the highway" approach on "every issue." Even on the issue of increased funding for border security, Jeffries said President Joe Biden has made a proposal, but claimed House Republicans "haven't even considered" it.
In response, Kernen noted that funding is unlikely to alleviate problems at the border — and then he scolded Jeffries on what "bipartisan" actually means.
"Funding is not helping the border," Kernen said. "There needs to be a policy change. That's all Speaker McCarthy said, 'Let's actually do it in a bipartisan way and get some actual policy there. We're doing plenty with Ukraine. Get some actual policy and some additional funding,' and I'll bet you he would eventually take his chances with keeping his speakership if he felt like there was a real change in policy, as well as funding that the Senate put in an amendment. I think you would get it done.
"But that's bipartisan," Kernen explained. "Bipartisan doesn't mean just everything that the Democrats want becomes law. That's not what bipartisan is."
House Minority Leader Jeffries: House Dems would back Senate's funding bill to avoid shutdown
Kernen also took issue with Jeffries suggesting only a handful of Republicans do not fall into the category of "extreme MAGA Republicans."
"You said maybe they're six normal ones. You seem to say they're six normal and, I don't know, 250 'extreme MAGA' ones. That's, that's not the way it is. There are probably eight or nine that fit that description, 'extreme MAGA,'" Kernen said.
"There's no point in this interview or at any other point in which I have actually commented on the number of Republicans who fall into a particular category," Jeffries objected.
But that's not true.
Earlier in the interview, Jeffries said of a potential deal to keep the government open, "Certainly there are six traditional Republicans, six reasonable Republicans willing to avoid a catastrophic government shutdown."
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