Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Friday, September 21, 2018

KPU hosts discussion with CNN commentators

Ana Navarro and Patti Solis Doyle talk about current political climate with AU students

KPU hosts discussion with CNN commentators

KPU Director Val Ojeda-Avitia makes opening remarks at the event.

CNN commentators Ana Navarro and Patti Solis Doyle discussed how women and minority groups are dealing with the current political climate during a talk hosted by the Kennedy Political Union on Thursday.

School of Communication professor Jane Hall moderated the event, which was titled “Political Persuasion: Campaign Ads Critique.”

According to a KPU press release, Ana Navarro is an immigrant from Nicaragua who served as the National Co-Chair of John McCain’s Hispanic Advisory Council, a surrogate for the McCain 2008 campaign and National Hispanic Co-Chair for Governor Jon Huntsman’s 2012 campaign. She is currently a political contributor for CNN, CNN en Español and ABC News.

Additionally, Patti Solis Doyle is a political organizer and campaign strategist that speaks about the rise of women and minorities in politics, presidential campaigns and issues affecting Hispanic Americans. She has served as chief of staff in the Obama for America campaign for Vice Presidential Operations and an advisor for the Obama-Biden campaign. She is currently a CNN political contributor and winter fellow at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics.

The discussion began with opening remarks from Navarro and Solis Doyle, speaking on the current election, background information on the speakers and why they like speaking to college students.

“You guys aren’t cynical yet and to me, it recharges my batteries to know that there’s young people out there wanting to make a difference in this world,” Navarro said to the audience.

Hall’s only question of the evening asked Navarro and Solis Doyle about how they believe Hillary Clinton is perceived by voters, and how misogyny is playing a role in the current election.

“If you read the poll numbers, she’s perceived as someone who is not trustworthy and is a liar,” Solis Doyle said. “She is not a liar and she is trustworthy, I know her personally and I can tell you that… I call her a friend. But I can also see why she is perceived that way.”

The conversation then shifted to questions from the audience. School of Public Affairs sophomore Alec MacDonald asked the commentators what they thought about college students not voting in protest to the election, or voting for one candidate to defeat the other. He wondered how millennial voter turnout would be affected.

“I think Donald Trump is a great tool to get out and vote because… he’s always been crazy but in the last couple of weeks, he has proven to be really dangerous and unhinged and I think people are really getting scared,” Solis Doyle said.

To that, Navarro responded saying how important voting is in this election and every election.

“I think not voting is not an option… I think we owe it to this country and to your generation and to future generations and we owe it to ourselves,” Navarro said.

Navarro continued, saying how she doesn’t agree with voting for Johnson either.

“Thirty four days away guys, there’s not many options. It’s really Hillary or Donald Trump… I realize that a lot of people don’t want to vote for Hillary or Donald Trump and they’re looking at a Gary Johnson,” Navarro said. “I don’t understand that. I don’t understand how you can vote for a guy who thinks Aleppo is what? A hybrid between a leopard and a hippo? Who can’t name one foreign leader that he likes? Who can’t name the foreign leader of North Korea?”

Other questions from students ranged from opinions on where the Republican party is headed to how to navigate the professional world as a Latina.

Though both commentators support different political parties, both commentators agreed on their distaste in Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

“I just can’t stand the guy [Trump],” Navarro said. “I think he is everything that is wrong with America. I think he brings out the worst in us. I think Hillary doesn’t bring out much in us, I think he brings out the worst in us. He’s divided us. He’s preyed on fears. He has taken new lows on the political discourse. He has lowered the standards for the President of the United States and what we think is acceptable in a campaign.”

mcarrasco@theeagleonline.com


Never miss a story.

Get our weekly newsletter in your inbox.