Political commentator Angela Rye Friday battled Donald Trump surrogate Steve Cortes over the notion that the 2016 election was a mandate for the president-elect, with Cortes insisting his side “won” the immigration debate.
“Angela, I don’t want to relitigate the election,” Cortes began. “But we just had an election that was largely about the very issue you mentioned which is illegal immigration. And the people of the United States sided with Donald Trump and Senator Sessions.”
Rye and Cortes jumped into a fiery exchange:
Rye: The states did, look at that popular vote.
Cortes: We don’t have a popular vote here, we’re a republic and we have an electoral college.
Rye: We do have a popular vote.
Cortes: Read the Constitution. They decided via our electoral college that our victims are not the illegal aliens, the victims are legal immigrants—
Rye: They’re people, Steve.
Cortes: We decided that as a country and we have a mandate to continue forward. We won! Are you saying we didn’t win?
Rye: No, I’m saying that you did not win the popular vote and I don’t subscribe to the term illegal alien. I’m talking about undocumented people.
Cortes: We didn’t try to win the popular vote, we won the electoral vote.
Rye: Congratulations, nevertheless—
Cortes: You don’t have to congratulate me, congratulate the Constitution, that’s our system.
Rye launched into an argument about the Constitution, arguing “there are people who believe it is a living and breathing document and sometimes it requires change.”
“Well we don’t believe that,” Cortes said.
“The American people voted us in based on those principles of strict constructionism and I think that’s going to be one of the reasons that Senator Sessions will be a great attorney [general],” Cortes continued. “He’s going to uphold the Bill of Rights which has been under attack—whether it’s religious liberty, gun rights, the Bill of Rights is in danger.
“We’ll fight you all the way,” Rye fired back.
Watch the segment below, via CNN: