Political commentators Steve Cortes and Ana Navarro debate immigration and President Trump's proposal for a wall along the US-Mexico border on the Thursday edition of CNN's Cuomo Prime Time.
"You can do your nails," Cortes said to Navarro. "You know who can't do their nails are people who have been killed, Ana, by dangerous known illegal aliens who have been allowed to stay in this country because of the leftist policies that people like you promote in so-called sanctuary cities."
"I'm so tired of you calling me leftist already just because you want to compromise your values," Navarro complained.
"Go back to filing your nails," Cortes responded.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: You know, when I talk about the President creating the fiction of a brown menace, which I use that phrase to describe this idea, fake idea of dangerous migrants coming to get us, his people don't like it. He doesn't like it. They both say that he doesn't see people that way. Really? Then why does his name sake put something like this on Instagram, you know why you can enjoy a day at the zoo? Because walls work.
Now he took it down because that's what you do when you get caught doing something stupid, but it sounds like the making of a great debate, so let's bring in Ana Navarro and Steve Cortes. And Brother Cortes, we've had this discussion many times.
STEVE CORTES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Sure.
CUOMO: I think the President would have been better served if he started where he ended last night. We need more resources to x-ray vehicles and detect drugs in vehicles. We need more human resources. We need more judges.
We need to think about accommodations and we have to have physical barriers. They matter too. If he'd done it in that order and that way, he would have been better off. But he didn't, he did it by demonizing the people coming to this country and saying a wall would make it all better. His son is echoing that thought, he compares the situation to a zoo, and we all get it.
You don't have to be sophisticated to get it. That's what they're about, calling these people animals and wanting to treat them that way. Fair criticism?
CORTES: No, no, no, that's not fair to say they. That's not fair. Donald Trump Junior said that, not the President. That's just not fair, Chris.
CORTES: Because it was Donald Trump Jr., the President didn't tweet that, didn't put that statement out. Donald Trump Jr. did. He shouldn't have. He should apologize for it. It's inappropriate. It's offensive. He has no role in the administration. He has no government position. He's not like his sister or his brother-in-law.
He's certainly not his father who was elected President of the United States, but it's unfair of you to drag the President into that and you almost sneak in there a they as if the two of them decided these are animals at a zoo we're trying to keep out. No, that's not the reality President didn't say that. He's never said that.
CUOMO: OK. Two points to you, Ana. First, Steve has never hesitated to throw my brother at me whenever it suits him, politically by the way, you forget that.
CORTES: For policy reasons.
CUOMO: Spare me the BS, I've had enough today.
Anna, here's the point.
CORTES: No, that's not BS.
CUOMO: It's complete BS.
CORTES: No, no, for policy reasons when he says that --
CORTES: -- that is his statement.
CUOMO: I hear you. It just doesn't make any sense. Ana, the President has said these people are rapists and animals. They're coming here. They're the worst coming this way. They're marauding horde. His son obviously believes it. They all believe it. That's the mentality that leads you to think you're a wall away from being protected by these people. Fair point or no?
ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I mean, look, I think he is echoing his father, which -- who demonizing immigrants time and time and time and time again, and I think he does this a lot, right? Echo his father on many points. But frankly, look, first of all, zoos maybe have fences to protect the animals from people like Donald Trump Jr., who like to shoot them.
But you know, at the end of the day, Donald Trump Jr. and whatever he says, can I just file my nails? I mean, this is an entitled rich spoil little brat whose only call to fame is being his daddy's son who hasn't built anything of his own, who hasn't done anything of his own, who is somehow trying to hang on to the fame of his father in order to have some level of relevancy.
Steve is right, he didn't even make the cut that his brother-in-law and sister did to be part of the Oval Office and the White House staff. Daddy kept Fredo (ph) back home, so who cares what Donald Trump Jr. says. Who cares what Donald Trump Jr. says?
CUOMO: All right, you know what?
NAVARRO: I don't want to talk about, you know, that entitled little brat.
CORTES: Ana, you just said that the President demonizes immigrants, and this is another sort of sleight of hand that the left loves to try to put over on the American people. He has never demonized immigrants. He is against illegal aliens. He's against breaking and entering in our country. He's against a lawless border. He loves legal immigrants.
CORTES: He's married -- he's married --
NAVARRO: Steve, I have asked you in the past, let me tell you this.
CUOMO: Go ahead.
NAVARRO: I have asked you in the past, and I will ask you again today to stop referring to me as left. Let me remind you that I was a Republican when Donald Trump was a Democrat. I was a Republican when Donald Trump was an Independent.
CORTES: You're a very leftist Republican.
NAVARRO: I was a supporting Republicans when Donald Trump had Hillary and Bill Clinton at his wedding and was giving Nancy Pelosi money. So the fact that people like you have enabled Donald Trump to take this party hostage and change and give up and compromise convictions and principles, Republican ones that I grew up with does not make me left. I fled left, I fled communism.
CORTES: This is the most conservative President since Ronald Reagan. He might well be the most conservative --
CUOMO: Let's get back to the subject matter.
NAVARRO: That does not make me left.
CUOMO: All right, I head you on that, Ana --
CORTES: He might be the most conservative President since Calvin Coolidge.
CUOMO: But hold on a second --
CORTES: So if you oppose the conservative policies of this president you are de facto a left --
CUOMO: Demonizing migrants is not a conservative value.
NAVARRO: He is not a conservative. Do you think (inaudible) are conservative?
CORTES: Not a conservative?
NAVARRO: Do you think having sex with a stripper is conservative values? Do you think cheating on the stripper with a playboy bunny is conservative values? Do you trade wars are conservative values?
CORTES: I don't think that has anything to do with policy.
NAVARRO: Do you think (inaudible) is a conservative value?
CORTES: Yes, I do. Yes, I think --
NAVARRO: Give me a break.
CUOMO: Hold on a second.
CORTES: I think constitutional judges and tax cuts and sovereignty over our country controlling our borders --
CUOMO: Unpaid for tax cuts that triple the deficit is a conservative policy value? Come on, Steve.
CORTES: Yes, because of the growth -- yes, did you notice the jobs report that we got last week?
CUOMO: Did you notice the national debt?
CORTES: The best manufacturing year since 19990s.
CUOMO: Did you notice the national debt? CORTES: Yes, Chris, I will agree with you that the debt when we cut
taxes often the debt first grows before economic growth becomes so large that it compensates. Look, it's paying pennies for pounds later.
CUOMO: Listen, that is trickle down economics. That is the hope. That's not the history or the reality. But let's stick to what we're talking about right now.
CORTES: It's the history for the Reagan --
CUOMO: Let's talk about the shutdown politics. Fair point to both of you, I don't usually talk about his kids, I don't believe in that. Why? Because I grow up as one, that's why and I understand that you're going to stick to your own even if it doesn't make political sense because it's papa, I get it. So let's keep the son out of it. What I'm saying is this, he does demonize. When he was talking about the caravan, he did it. When he described them during the primary --
CORTES: Those are illegal immigrants.
CUOMO: No they're not, migrants trying to come to this country. You haven't even decided whether or not they should get in or not, you haven't even heard their case yet, and you're deciding that they're illegal?
CORTES: Chris, Chris --
CUOMO: You don't even know who they are.
CORTES: Yes, you know that the vast majority of them have been abusing and gaming our asylum system, and that's not my opinion.
CUOMO: I do not know that.
CORTES: That is what the statistics tell us because --
CUOMO: The statistics do not tell us that.
CORTES: Yes. Chris, they do. Only 10% of people from those three Central American countries --
CUOMO: That's not abuse.
CORTES: -- are the preponderance of the caravan.
CUOMO: That's our system that only allows in, one out of 10. That's our system, that doesn't mean that they don't have a bona fide claim. That means that we don't think they have one.
CORTES: Here's the other reason we know they don't have a bona fide claim because they would do it in Mexico. They wouldn't cross an enormous country to reach our border except for the fact that their economic migrants. Let's be honest about this. They're not asylum seekers or they would take asylum in Mexico where it was offered them. The fact they traverse Mexico to come here tells us they're economic migrants, they want to be Americans.
[21:30:13] CUOMO: Right, but here is what you're annoying about. Let me bring it back to Ana because she's done with the nails and the emery board, although that was a great prop, I want you to know that. I think that you probably brought it in by accident, but it worked very well for you Ana, kudos to you. The idea that if you're coming here out of economic desperation it somehow doesn't count anymore, that it certainly shouldn't count as asylum but it also somehow makes you illegitimate, how are you with that, Ana?
NAVARRO: Look, I think this is a country that has been built by people who came here as refugees, many for political reasons, many for economic reasons. You know, it's the people who do some of the hardest jobs in this country, and yesterday that, you know, address to Trump nation that President Loco gave was full of inaccuracies and misleading statements.
The first thing he did was start off trying to pit brown and black versus each other, which he likes to do, and then he ended with an entire, you know, segment about criminal aliens and the cost and when we all know that native born have a higher criminal record and higher criminal ratings than immigrants do. But this is something that he goes again and again and again and again through.
I keep wondering just how long he's going to be able to play this same song and this same record. How long can he go back to the wall? I think he thinks it's a winning strategy for him. I don't think it is. But I think he's going to continue going back to it.
CUOMO: Final point, Steve Cortes.
CORTES: What you just cited about criminality between native born and immigrants. First of all, that's not true. There's a lot of conflicting studies. But even if --
CUOMO: Only when you conclude illegal entry as criminality do you get the numbers where you want them to.
CORTES: No, that's not true.
CORTES: John Law did an extensive study of Arizona there are conflicting studies. But listen, even if I were to grant you that point -- yes, there are.
CUOMO: That's fake news. It's fake news for you to inject BS, OK and say that it's equal to the real data.
CORTES: It's not BS. But even if I were to grant you that, OK, the point is the illegal alien crime rate should be zero. It should be -- you can do your nails. You know who can't do their nails are people who have been killed, Ana, by dangerous known illegal aliens who have been allowed to stay in this country because of the leftist policies that people like you promote in so-called sanctuary cities.
NAVARRO: I'm so tired of you calling me leftist already just because you want to compromise your values.
NAVARRO: Listen, I don't care what you call me --
CORTES: Go back to filing your nails.
CORTES: Well, you should seem to care.
NAVARRO: I don't have to care. And a lot of America doesn't have to care.
CORTES: He doesn't have that luxury because he's dead. And he's dead --
NAVARRO: I was supporting Republican candidates when you were --
CORTES: Who was twice arrested who was a known gang member.
CUOMO: All right, we're talking over each other too much. There's no more progress of this but, Steve, let me just tell you something. Get down off the soap box. Because if you want to worry about who can file their nails, worry about who you can pay their damn bills. The shutdown is on your head, my brother. This is what the President wanted, he has it now and people are paying the price. And until they end it, they won't be filing their nails or anything else that a paycheck provides.
Ana Navarro, Steve Cortes, you got to keep talking?
CORTES: I think we're very close to a deal. Do you?
CUOMO: Well, that's the best thing I've ever heard you say on this show. I hope you're right. The best to both of you for the rest of the night.
CORTES: I think DACA for wall is happening. I do.
CUOMO: We'll see.