A panel on MSNBC on Saturday tore into the Conservative Political Action Conference’s convention in Orlando, Florida, for having morphed into a haven for white nationalists and self-serving charlatans like Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).
Cruz infamously absconded to Cancun, Mexico earlier this month while millions of Texans were left without power or potable water due to Winter Storm Uris, a historic blizzard that dropped feet of snow and crippled the state’s antiquated power grid.
Speaking with Doctor Jason Johnson, a regular network contributor, host Tiffany Cross wondered why she – and progressives in general – should be interested in “unity” with a movement fueled by hate and greed:
Jason, we’ve had a lot of calls for unity. I look at these sound bites from this CPAC event that you’ve been to a few times, I am not interested at all in unifying with any of those people. Is this a new kind of crazy, or has CPAC always been a safe haven for this cuckoo-ness?
As a keynote speaker at CPAC, Cruz joked about his trip:
God bless CPAC. I gotta say, Orlando is AWESOME. It’s not as nice as Cancun, but it’s nice!
Reacting to Cruz, Johnson noted how ludicrously tone-deaf CPAC – and those who attend the annual convention – have become:
You know, I’ve been to CPAC for several years, and obviously not this year, and what I’ve seen is it got more and more aggressive as time went on, and I think there’s this – when you see something like Ted Cruz – honestly – Ted Cruz joking about being in Orlando while people back in his state continue to starve and not have clean water is like [former President] George [W.] Bush when he was joking – I think it was at the White House Correspondents Dinner – about not finding weapons of mass destruction after hundreds of thousands of people had died.
It’s that callousness that I find particularly to be offensive.
But again, CPAC has been getting worse and worse. It used to be a place where people could go. Remember it was just two years ago that people were saying racist and insulting things about Michael Steele. Michael Steele didn’t even want to go anymore. He’s a foreign former RNC chair.
Johnson said that CPAC has devolved into nothing more than a “hate-fest” which is poisoning democracy.
“So I think as the party has become more coarse, as the party has become less interested in governing and more interested in smacking down the people they don’t like, CPAC has turned from an opportunity to exchange ideas, to a giant sort of beat down the people we hate-fest. And that’s disappointing and it’s not good for American democracy overall,” he concluded.
“I completely agree Jason,” said Cross.
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.