CNN commentator: Trump is MLK of health care

CNN panelist: Trump is the MLK of health care
CNN panelist: Trump is the MLK of health care

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    CNN panelist: Trump is the MLK of health care

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CNN panelist: Trump is the MLK of health care 01:16

Story highlights

  • Jeffrey Lord said, "King kept putting people in the streets in harm's way to put the pressure on"
  • "King was marching for civil rights because people that looked like me were being beaten," Sanders said

(CNN)A CNN discussion took a sharp turn Thursday after CNN commentator and President Donald Trump surrogate Jeffrey Lord invoked Dr. Martin Luther King to defend Trump's handling of health care.

Trump told the Wall Street Journal this week that he was still considering whether to keep funding the subsidies that reduce deductibles and co-pays for low-income people. The move could force Democrats to negotiate on repealing the Affordable Care Act given that the subsidies are crucial to Obamacare's survival in the near term.
"Think of Donald Trump as the Martin Luther King of health care," Lord told CNN's Alisyn Camerota Thursday on "New Day." "When I was a kid, President Kennedy did not want to introduce the civil rights bill because he said it wasn't popular and he didn't have the votes for it."
    "Dr. King kept putting people in the streets in harm's way to put the pressure on so the bill would be introduced," the CNN political commentator added.
    Democratic activist Symone Sanders, who is black, immediately denounced Lord over the comparison.
    "You do understand that Dr. King was marching for civil rights because people that looked like me were being beaten, dogs were being sicced on them, basic human rights were being withheld from these people merely because of the color of their skin," she said. "So let's not equate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. -- humanitarian and Nobel Peace Prize winner -- to the vagina-grabbing president, Donald Trump."
    "Oh boy," Camerota said. "Jeffrey, you did introduce this. You went there."