CNN anchor Don Lemon said Monday night that you can't compare a supporter of Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocrats urge Biden to commute sentences of 4K people on home confinement Briahna Joy Gray: Push toward major social spending amid pandemic was 'short-lived' Sanders 'disappointed' in House panel's vote on drug prices MORE (I-Vt.) who attempted to kill Republican lawmakers last year to a "right-winger" suspected in the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting and the "right-winger" who allegedly sent bombs to the network and Democrats.
Lemon added during a panel discussion on his primetime program that he doesn't "see Democrats killing people."
The debate began after CNN political commentator Mark Shields argued that assigning blame to anyone but the shooter in the Saturday massacre in Pittsburgh is "outrageous" and "disgusting."
Lemon disagreed, stating the Sanders supporter who wounded four Republicans including House Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseOSHA faces big challenge with Biden vaccine mandate Overnight Health Care — Nicki Minaj stokes uproar over vaccines Republicans ask FDA for details on any White House pressure on boosters MORE (R-La.) during a congressional baseball practice can't be compared to the suspected synagogue shooter or the Florida man who allegedly who sent pipe bombs to prominent Democrats and CNN because "Bernie Sanders is not the president of the United States."
“This is not equal," Lemon said after some back-and-forth with Shields. "The right-wing group killed a woman in Charlottesville. This guy is a right-winger who killed the people in the synagogue. The right-winger sent bombs to CNN and to Democrats."
"I don’t see Democrats killing people because of political, yeah ---- maybe Democratic operatives who are out there.”
"But they tried to," Shields corrected.
“Okay, they tried to, and that’s not right,” Lemon replied. “But for the most part, what do you see here, Mike? You see these extreme right-wingers and then instead of denouncing them and saying it’s just wrong, you make people think that it’s okay, that you’re making an excuse for, because then you go, ‘But what about the Democrats?’ when is no comparison. There is no equivalence there!”
Shields insisted he was not excusing anything and was only attempting to make a point around rhetoric from both sides contributing to the rising political temperature in the country.
Scalise retweeted an article summarizing Lemon's comments with wide googly eyes Tuesday.
Shields and Lemon's debate came before outgoing U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki HaleyNikki HaleyHarris to hold fundraiser for McAuliffe ahead of Virginia governor's race Allies see rising prospect of Trump 2024 White House bid Trump schedules rallies in Iowa, Georgia MORE took to Twitter to call out those pointing the finger at President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Interior returns BLM HQ to Washington France pulls ambassadors to US, Australia in protest of submarine deal MORE's rhetoric for the synagogue shooting, noting that former President Obama was not blamed after a mass shooting at an African-American church in Charleston, S.C., during his time in office.
“I have struggled w/ what happened in Pitts bc it’s so similar to what happened in Chas. The country was very racially divided @ the time," Haley, a former South Carolina governor, tweeted late Monday. "We didn’t once blame Pres. Obama. We focused solely on the lives lost & their families. Have some respect for these families & stop the blame,” added Haley, who will step down at the end of the year.
I have struggled w/ what happened in Pitts bc it’s so similar to what happened in Chas. The country was very racially divided @ the time. We didn’t once blame Pres. Obama. We focused solely on the lives lost & their families. Have some respect for these families & stop the blame.— Nikki Haley (@nikkihaley) October 30, 2018