Don Lemon unleashes on ‘weak’ Biden, Democrats not doing enough for Black voters

Lemon demanded they use their bully pulpit to get their message across — and that voters want "equal access to the voting booth."

CNN anchor Don Lemon took President Joe Biden and Democrats to task Wednesday for not doing enough for Black voters, who make up a crucial part of their constituency.

Lemon’s comments came after Senate Republicans voted against beginning debate on the Freedom to Vote Act on Wednesday, Mediaite reported. The final vote fell across party lines, 51-49, and prevented legislature that would’ve addressed making it easier to vote, making Election Day a federal holiday, and tackling a slate of voting restrictions enacted by Republicans since the 2020 election.

“It will be the hill the Democratic Party dies on because that’s what voters want,” said Lemon to fellow CNN host Chris Cuomo.  

Don Lemon Joe Biden
CNN anchor Don Lemon took President Joe Biden and Democrats to task Wednesday for not doing enough for Black voters. (Photos: Screenshot/CNN and Getty Images)

“The voters who pushed this president into office — Black and Brown voters, Black and Latino voters, women — they want voting rights,” Lemon declared. “They want access, equal access — not special access, equal access — to the voting booth. And they are not getting that. Now, what they’re getting is the complete opposite. They’re getting a party, which is the minority party in the country, actually running the show, holding back the vote on voting rights. So I think it will be the hill they die on.”

“Well, we don’t know,” Cuomo replied. “But it would’ve been the fight I focused on.”

There has been frustration from progressives and liberals directed at West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat who has blocked efforts to do away with the filibuster, which currently needs 60 votes to begin debate.

Cuomo said the “battle for democracy” was not on the ballot box, but Lemon argued that it essentially was. He blasted President Biden for not being more effective in his messaging by going around the country with his Build Back Better agenda.

Lemon said that Republicans were gaining favor across the country with “lies,” but Democrats were failing their cause with the “truth.”

“I’m going to make sure I have their attention,” Lemon maintained. “I’m going to tell them what is in the bill. I’m going to tell them what I’m selling that is going to help them and everybody in red America and everybody in blue America and all Americans. I’m not just gonna to sit back and expect the news media to do it for me because it’s not [the media’s] job to sell the narrative.”

Don Lemon
Don Lemon speaks onstage in December 2019 during the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Hosts Ripple of Hope Gala & Auction in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for for Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights)

Lemon conceded that Republicans are set up to win when it comes to getting their point across, but said Democrats needed to adjust and win. He demanded urgency — and for Biden to hold rallies in the middle of the night, if needed.

“And the only reason that I am so enthusiastic about this is because our democracy is on the line, and I don’t want America to lose its democracy,” said Lemon. “I don’t want America to be a country of minority rule, and I don’t want America to be a place where Black and Brown people like me — whose ancestors fought and died for the right to vote — are restricted from going to the voting booth. That is the most un-American thing to do.”

He demanded that Biden and the Democratic party make better use of their bully pulpit and the levers of power they currently have.

“So, I have this platform that I have now, and I am speaking very passionately about it. Democrats, get your butts in gear, and get passionate about saving this damn country. You’re not doing it! You’re weak! You are weak! You are weak!” he said.

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