CNN's Don Lemon echoes Obama: 'What happened to the Republican Party?'

CNN's Don Lemon echoes Obama: 'What happened to the Republican Party?'
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CNN host Don Lemon on Friday night echoed portions of former President Obama's speech earlier in the day blasting President TrumpDonald John TrumpSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor The US-Iranian scuffle over a ship is a sideshow to events in the Gulf South Korea: US, North Korea to resume nuclear talks 'soon' MORE.

"That is a great question. 'What happened to the Republican Party?' " Lemon said on his show, using a phrase Obama used during his speech at the University of Illinois.

The CNN host played several video clips of GOP senators and Trump allies previously criticizing Trump before his electoral victory.

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Lemon showed an old clip of Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP group calls on Republican senators to stand up to McConnell on election security in new ads Cindy McCain says no one in Republican Party carries 'voice of reason' after husband's death Trump says he'll decide on foreign aid cuts within a week MORE (R-S.C.) calling Trump a “kook” who was “unfit” for office, comparing it a November 2017 clip of Graham criticizing the media for labeling Trump a “kook.”

“He’s the one who said ‘kook’ in the first place,” Lemon laughed. “You can’t make this up.”

Lemon also pointed to the relationship between Trump and Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGOP strategist predicts Biden will win nomination, cites fundraising strength 3 real problems Republicans need to address to win in 2020 The Hill's Morning Report - Trump on defense over economic jitters MORE (R-Texas), who were fierce rivals during the 2016 Republican presidential primary.

The host noted that Trump suggested during the campaign that Cruz's father was involved in the John F. Kennedy assassination and retweeted a tweet critical of Cruz's wife's appearance.

“It’s not easy to tick me off,” Cruz said in a 2016 clip aired by CNN. “I don’t get angry often. But you mess with my wife, you mess with my kids, that’ll do it every time. Donald, you’re a sniveling coward and leave Heidi the hell alone.”

Lemon compared Cruz’s 2016 rhetoric to a glowing piece the Texas senator wrote about Trump for Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people earlier this year.

The CNN host also showed a video clip of presidential adviser Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayDelaney: 'It feels like some Democrats are cheering on a recession' Nikki Haley voices 'complete support' for Pence Trump campaign launches effort to mobilize suburban women MORE, one of Trump's fiercest defenders, previously criticizing Trump's attacks on Heidi Cruz during the GOP primary.

“My, how things have changed, my how the Republican Party has changed,” Lemon said Friday. “You heard them tell us, before the election, what to expect from Donald Trump. You heard President Obama tell us. And you’ve heard and you’ve seen President Trump.”

Lemon praised portions of Obama's speech Friday going after Trump, including Obama's line calling out his successor for his rhetoric following the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., last year.

"We’re supposed to stand up to discrimination and we’re sure as heck supposed to stand up clearly and unequivocally to Nazi sympathizers," Obama said. "How hard can that be? Saying that Nazis are bad."

"Amen, Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaTrump has 62 percent disapproval rating in new AP poll Rising Warren faces uphill climb with black voters Obama explains decision to get into movie business: 'We all have a sacred story' MORE," Lemon echoed.