Florida attorney general responds to CNN's Anderson Cooper: 'He just flipped on me'
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi claimed Thursday that CNN's Anderson Cooper "just flipped on me" during what proved an embarrassing one-on-one for her about the Orlando tragedy and her gay rights positions.
Bondi, a former Fox News analyst, received ample support on "Fox & Friends" as co-host Steve Doocy introduced her by noting that she was "clearly blindsided" during a Tuesday session with Cooper.
During that interview, Cooper was passionate but firm in raising doubts about her sympathy for gay, lesbian and transgender causes, citing her office's litigation record and the absence of many sympathetic statements on her website during her tenure.
“There’s a time and place for everything, but yesterday wasn’t the time nor the place, in front of a hospital, when we could have been helping victims,” Bondi said later. She called Cooper “the champion for the LGBT community” but said that he had encouraged “anger and hate” during their encounter.
Cooper responded on his show last night and underscored that the tone of the session was respectful and not "filled with any anger." He told his audience, “It’s my job to hold people accountable. And if on Sunday a politician is talking about love and embracing 'our LGBT community,' I don’t think it’s unfair to look at their record and see if they have actually ever spoken that way publicly before. Which I never heard her say."
Thursday, on "Fox & Friends," Bondi further responded as a chyron declared, "INTERVIEW AMBUSH — CNN SIDELINES VICTIMS, TO ATTACK PAM BONDI." THEN CAME, "FALSE PRETENSES — BONDI: I WAS TOLD WE'D TALK ABOUT THE VICTIMS."
"He just flipped on me," said claimed to Doocy. "There's a time and place for everything...To incite anger and hatred was not the time nor the place in front of a hospital."
"I get it, he's hurt," said Bondi, a decided conservative whose office has pressed legal fights against certain gay rights issues. "I get it, he's hurt, he's a champion for the LGBT community...I was happy to have the opportunity to go on with somebody who cares."
Anderson said Wednesday that various Bondi counters are factually incorrect. On Thursday she concluded, "The interview is what it is. Emotions are high. I saw later that he had cried when reading the names. It is what it is. Let's focus on unity and love."
As she sought to focus on harmony, the Fox chyron stated, "BAIT & SWITCH — CNN FOCUSED ON BONDI, NOT ORLANDO VICTIMS."
Here's the video:
Clarification: According to Fox News, Pam Bondi was not a "legal analyst" for the network though a regular guest. In the lexicon of cable networks, "analysts" tend to be salaried or contract employees, while "contributors" tend to earn a flat amount per appearance.