Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy told Breitbart News that he “made lemonade out of lemons” after CNN host Don Lemon was ousted from the company on the heels of a heated exchange with the candidate last week, which reportedly left executives vexed.
Soon after the news of Lemon and CNN’s split on Monday, the New York Times reported that “several CNN leaders” were left “exasperated” by the heated early morning back and forth between Lemon and Ramaswamy last week on This Morning.
It came as “CNN leaders were hopeful that Mr. Lemon would adjust to his new morning-show role and that higher ratings would follow” after years of combative segments on his former evening show, Don Lemon Tonight. The Times noted that the prime-time “persona” Lemon brought to the show “was an awkward fit.”
During the intense 8:00 a.m. segment seen below, cohost Poppy Harlow was relegated to an onlooker as the men sparred over the Civil War and the freedoms of black Americans.
Don Lemon utterly TRIGGERED after Vivek Ramaswamy OWNS him on Civil War and blacks’ gun rights ON HIS OWN SHOW🔥
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) April 20, 2023
Ramaswamy contended that “black people did not get to enjoy the other freedoms until their second amendment rights were secured,” prompting Lemon to suggest that “black people still aren’t allowed to enjoy the freedoms [indiscernable] in this country.”
The candidate later called Lemon’s perspective “insulting… after we went through a civil rights revolution in this country.”
“I think it’s insulting that you’re sitting here, whatever ethnicity you are, explaining to me what it’s like to be black in America,” Lemon later said, as a silent Harlow turned her attention to her phone.
Ramaswamy, a first-generation Indian American, told Lemon that skin color should not be a prerequisite for a citizen to express an opinion on a particular issue as the segment ended.
“I don’t play with kid gloves, so anybody standing in the way of our American revival… their jobs or their standing may be a casualty of the process,” Ramaswamy said while speaking with Breitbart News via telephone on Tuesday. “But we’re taking no prisoners along the way. We’re going to be unapologetic about standing up for what’s true.”
“I think CNN, their decision to say that, you know, ‘We want to actually be a platform where people get to at least voice their ideas without being silenced by the color of their skin,’ I think is a positive development,” he continued. “I think it’s encouraging. I think it shows that there’s actually hope for where we can be heading as a country.”
Ramaswmy said that he is “one of the only, if not only, voices in the presidential field” who has ventured into a news studio of a different political persuasion, and he encouraged his GOP rivals to do the same.
“I think the more of that we do, the more successful we’re going to be in our movement,” he said. “And so that’s what I’m doing… I was with Chuck Todd not that long ago, got on CNBC plenty, went on with these guys last week. And this one had a really positive result in that we were able to talk about an issue that most people like to dance around, which is actually the history of how black Americans secured their freedoms, which involves, yes, the Second Amendment as part of that.”
“We have to practice what we preach and show the self-confidence that we actually have, the winning arguments, and that we’re willing to go to the other side and win,” he went on to add. “I think that’s actually going to be very important for us to win, not just by a little bit, but to potentially seize the opportunity to win in a landslide election in 2024.”
On Tuesday, Ramaswamy published his latest book,