Episode 21: Chris Cuomo Interview Transcript

Episode post link with audio and video here: https://www.angryamericans.us/exclusive-chris-cuomo-taking-on-trump-enemies-of-the-state-growing-up-cuomo-bass-fishing/

Paul: Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages welcome to the Manhattan Classic Car Club for a guest interview that I am so excited about and have been planning for a long time. The great and powerful and mighty Chris Cuomo is with us today. How you doing man?

Chris: Better than I deserve. Always good to be with you, not just because you’re an American hero but you’re a good man and a good friend and I’m happy for your success.

Paul: Oh, I appreciate that. You’ve been very generous in supporting it. It’s hot in New York.

Chris: Muggy.

Paul: Muggy.

Chris: The night was hot. The night was wet. The night was sultry. You remember that from Throw Momma from the Train?

Paul: I don’t but now I do.

Chris: Billy Crystal is talking to DeVito and he’s like, “Listen, writing is hard. Sometimes there’s not one perfect word. The night is hot. The night is wet. There’s not just one word for it.” And momma sticks her head around and goes, “The night was sultry.” And he goes, “Let’s kill the bitch.” And that was like a famous line from the movie.

Paul: You got a lot of movie quotes. We’re going to get into that but before we do, I ask every guest what drink they would like and that’s a part of the show. There will be a giving of the gifts at the end but you have gone with a Seltzer.

Chris: You’re drinking an Aperol Spritz.

Paul: I am.

Chris: Which is a play against type because you are like-

Paul: I am all about playing against type, man.

Chris: … a trained killer and American hero and you’re drinking that fancy little drink.

Paul: It’s delicious and refreshing. And when I was in Italy, I don’t know, a long time ago my wife started drinking them and other people started drinking.

Chris: Yeah, you’re wife.

Paul: You know, it’s a great summer drink.

Chris: Your wife started drinking them. Although, she’s actually probably tougher than both of us put together.

Paul: She absolutely is.

Chris: She was not drinking and Aperol Spritz when I saw her out with her friends. She was not drinking an Aperol Spritz. She actually insisted that we immediately do shots. I drink tequila almost always.

Paul: Okay. That’s actually her drink of choice.

Chris: I am not an aficionado. I don’t like small batch, big batch, like how people get with brown water, you know whiskey and all that stuff. I don’t. I like tequila. I like it from two different perspectives. One, I think it’s a good sipping drink. I’m not saying that you should be licking salt off your hand or someone’s body and doing shots all night. But I like tequila. I drink it just on the rocks with a lot of lemon. Sometimes a bartender … I used to bartend, will say muddled lemon.

Paul: Muddled lemon.

Chris: My father’s drink was closer to yours. Aperol is kind of a cousin of Campari.

Paul: Sure.

Chris: Technically a bitters. He would drink a Negroni, which is traditionally a gin drink. He did it with vodka, Campari, a little shot of vermouth in there. I will drink one of those now, although I don’t really like them. But they make me think of my father so I drink those every once in a while if I’m drinking at all.

Paul: That’s a good start because this summer has been the summer in America that would drive a lot of people to drinking. Every interview person we’ve had on this show has been important, inspiring, or iconic.

Chris: So what about me? Is this a new chapter?

Paul: You’re going to hit all those probably.

Chris: Is this a new chapter?

Paul: Yeah. Infamous, my bad. Infamous by the end. But I wanted to talk to you for so many different reasons before events of the last couple of weeks but in particular because I’ve been describing this as kind of a summer of stress and anxiety and chaos, especially in politics. And part of why I want to talk to you is because you’re at the epicenter of it, man. As we sit down here today, the president of the United States is again calling the press the enemy of the state.

Chris: Yeah.

Paul: So just pulling it way back up, right, the 10,000 foot level. When you look at the state of America this summer, what do you think?

Chris: I think that this is a trying time because you know this from a lot of different perspectives than most Americans but this is very fragile what we have here. You know, people have never pulled off what we’re do here. The richness of diversity, you know a homogenous society has enough challenges. But when you have all these different people, the temptation is to stick to your silos. You know, as we learned painfully in France, one of the big problems they have there is they have a non-assimilative culture. So they have a lot of people who are Islamic who are two generations French but they’re sitting on those outer neighborhoods. The french word is like arrondissement. Something like that.

Paul: Yep.

Chris: And they’re not assimilated, you know. When I was there covering the Bataclan and they’re chasing those guys around in that place St. Denis, they’re speaking Arabic there and they’re second generation Frenchmen. And we are not that here. We’re assimilative. So it’s fragile because it’s not in keeping with human instinct of silos and sticking to your own law of the jungle bullshit like that. So it’s fragile and when you play on the divisions and you play to the fears, it’s effective.

Chris: You know, people use the word demagogue as a pejorative and they should but often they think it connotes a sense of ham-fistedness or ineffectiveness and that’s not true. Demagoguery, negativity in politics is very powerful. In fact, it is easier to persuade through negativity than positivity, which is why you have riots but you don’t have hug ins and you have add buys that are three to one negative to positive because it’s a better investment of your money in the campaign because it’s more effective. They want to vote against something more than for something.

Chris: A positive opposite is a tricky sale and that’s where the democrats find themselves right now. I wish the President had more confidence in himself and in his position. And in so feeling that way, he would resist these cheap temptations to divide because he’s not doing it because he’s a man of profound principle. He’s not some dedicated populist. This is not someone who is burdened by deep convictions so he’s doing what he thinks works and he’s a demagogue and that demonstrable. But it’s also dangerous and calling us the enemy, people are right to be pissed with the media on a regular basis. I’m pissed at the media on an on and off basis. However, I know it’s not a monolith and I know you got to judge each outlet and each person and each outcome on its own but it’s always tempting to generalize and to group.

Chris: And the media deserves the scrutiny and often the criticism and I’m okay with that. And I think it’s right to be attacked and he attacks all the right things. I just don’t think he needs to and I think it’s more dangerous than he realizes and if he does realize, he doesn’t care because at the end of the day, his list of priorities is very simple. It begins with him and his self protection and it ends there as well.

Paul: So you’ve been generous enough to let me guest host on your radio show on Sirius XM. Big thanks to your team and to you.

Chris: They call you the Come Up.

Paul: Is that what they call me?

Chris: The Upgrade or the Come Up.

Paul: They call me a lot of things because you could curse on the air. But it’s been a really fascinating examination for me in part because you get to talk to people all across the country. You get call-ins in real time and you’ve got a very dedicated listener base and a smart listener base. But one of the things that I talked about when I’m hosting is how the President has the opportunity to own the tone and to set a command climate and we unfortunately are all living in the wake of that command climate. But what is it like for you and for people like you, right? And this is where there’s strange bed fellows. You and Hannity and Maddow and Meghan McCain.

Paul: On the way in, I told you that if I want to see fury in America, all I have to do in my Twitter feed is mention either you, Rachel Maddow, or Meghan McCain. All from different sides but there’s an unusual fury and nastiness that is coming. And I’m not saying poor you but what is it like for the humans that are in this environment? Because you are human beings, to have that kind of command climate and to have a bullseye on you, right. To have the President say your name, the commander in chief to rain that down on you is something I don’t think most Americans could even begin to understand but I hope you can help them understand.

Chris: Well, it’s unnatural, right. What I do or what I was doing, I thought rather effectively, was ignoring it. And as you know from being in theater so often, if you focus on the task at hand, keep your mentality on mission than you just kind of go through whatever you’re going through and at the end of it, it’s over. And I know certainly that’s what I do when I was on Embeds and depending on you and your brothers and sisters for my protection, I would just pretend that I’m glad I’m not going through what I’m seeing through the camera right now. I’m glad I’m just looking through this little camera right now. I’m glad that this isn’t as bad as I think it is.

Chris: And in a much more subtle way, because obviously war can be used as a metaphor but there’s only one real war and everything else is just a faint echo of it. You ignore the toll it takes on you emotionally and the risk it presents to your family, except to the extent that you have to manage it. Because that makes you uncomfortable, right? When you start to realize the reality, which is that you’re putting your kids and your wife in a bad spot, it starts to make you feel more like a piece of shit and so you avoid that. But one of the lessons of the last week for me was the reminder of the reality. You wanted to be relevant. You wanted to build up a platform. You built up a platform, now you’re relevant so when people have a chance to come at you in this climate, they’re going to come both barrels and they’re going to stay on you until they think it’s not hurting you anymore and they’ll find a new target.

Chris: You know, that’s the deal. So certainly not a victim. Certainly not discouraged, just a little bit more wide eyed about what happens and pissed at myself because I don’t like being what I oppose. I don’t like adding to the ugliness. I’m better than that. I’m better trained than that. But I’ll tell ya Peej, you know you learn about yourself in life, even at my advanced age. You’re always still learning about yourself and I didn’t appreciate my sensitivity to what changes in me when the kids are around.

Chris: Just as a mere statement of fact, stuff being said in front of my kid is different than stuff being said directly to me. And my kid was gone when I got into it with the guys. I wouldn’t have exposed her to that. I’m not that much of a numbskull but I felt differently. I felt that this was way over the line. As I did when people went near Tucker Carlson’s family. I don’t like what he does on television and I do believe it’s an at. I don’t believe in what he’s promoting. I think it’s cheap and dangerous and mean and I think he has a big mouth but I would never, ever think that that was cool what they did to his wife and kids in that restaurant, going to his house. It’s wrong on a number of levels. And that’s on someone’s family, I don’t even like him.

Chris: You know?

Paul: Yeah.

Chris: I like me and I like my kids.

Paul: Right.

Chris: And it really bothered me. It was so wrong, in my mind. Now, as you well know and you’re learning on the media side now, you have a choice. You cannot control what comes at you but 100% you control how you deal with it, assuming that there’s no threat involved. Because then someone’s making choices for you. But I make the decision about how I react to what somebody said and I made bad freaking choices and I did it because I was pissed off. I wasn’t drunk. I wish I could say I was. You know? I wish I had an excuse. I have no excuse. I was pissed off and I knew they were recording me and I didn’t give a damn that they were recording me. I wanted them to record it because I thought that what they did was so wrong.

Chris: Now, the weaponizing of me in the dividing of the incident into agendas and in motivating things as metaphor, I did not anticipate. I did not see myself as being that relevant, to be attacked by righty fringe types for a week but I am. So now I know.

Paul: Yeah. And I think that’s what I really find most interesting and maybe most important is on some levels it’s not about you. It’s about-

Chris: On most of them. On this one-

Paul: Most levels, it’s not about you, right?

Chris: … it’s about the President, the right, the left.

Paul: There’s an environment where as soon as … you and I have known each other a long time now, right. We met because of your work in the veterans community and because of your coverage overseas and we’ve stayed in touch over the years. And you’ve been a great mentor and friend to me and a lot of other people in the environment. And I know what kind of person you are. You’re a patriot. You’re a family guy. You care deeply about your community and about your family and about this country in a way, frankly, a lot of other people in the media don’t. I’ll say that because I know many of them and I don’t think many of them care about the country in the same way that you do and you’ve been committed to that.

Paul: But on some levels, what alarms me the most is when that went down, I don’t even know if I texted you. I said, “He’s going to come. You know he’s going to come. You know the President of the United States is going to pick a person and bring down a level of pressure that is unlike anything we’ve seen in my lifetime.” And I was in a very weird way, outside experienced this at a point when we said we would not accept money at IAVA from any presidential candidate, at a time when Trump was giving away to veterans groups. We stood up and said, “We won’t take it.”

Paul: We got death threats. We got death threats to our social workers who were answering a call in line. And that is a statement of fact. That is what we experienced because of this environment that I believe he is responsible for creating.

Chris: Right.

Paul: So that’s what I really think is most instructive about this experience. People are going to make mistakes. Everybody makes mistakes. You are a good man. You own your mistakes. I own my mistakes. I’ve talked about them on this show. I’ll talk about them in the future. But the question is, when our leader decides to cannibalize that or manipulate that, that’s a whole new world.

Chris: Yeah, we’re just not used to it. We’re used to leaders like you did for the men underneath you when you were actively in the service. You try to present your best self and we’re used to presidents trying to do that. They fall short. Every human being will in whatever their endeavor is and they’ll get criticized for it. That’s politics and that’s a robust aspect of our culture. We can say what we want to whomever we want whenever we want.

Paul: Yeah.

Chris: And that is our right. Doesn’t always make what we say and do and when and how right but that is our right. This man is different as a leader. I would argue he is not a leader. I would argue that he checks no boxes of leadership. People will say, we’ll that’s because you hate him. That is not true. I hate no individual. I don’t believe in investing that kind of emotion in people. If anything, I’m guilty of indifference when it comes to people I don’t really know. I’m slow to judge. I’ve been around too much.

Paul: Yeah.

Chris: Seen too many people. People have too many facets. I’d have to know more about them than to see them in a single incident, depending how overwhelming that subject matter is. But he’s playing to advantage. He knows the rules very well and he’s made it okay to be ugly. He’s made it okay to be mean. He’s made it a proxy for strength. He’s made negativity a proxy for insight and I just don’t agree with any of that and I don’t think it’s subjective. I think it’s objective and I’m okay with him coming after me. I’m a big boy. I can take it. I was bred by wolves and in a bad environment so you are not going to scare me.

Chris: I was on vacation last week. The suggestion that it was about anything else is bullshit. I would have come back in a heartbeat if it was a suggestion that I was hiding or being hidden. This just didn’t matter enough.

Paul: Yeah.

Chris: I did get some ugly threats. I only had one person though, in person, echo what those chumps said. It’s easy to say online “Fredo, Fredo, Fredo”. You don’t want to accept that I find it offensive as an ethnic mob reference, that’s fine. You don’t have to accept it. You also don’t get to judge my sensitivity about it, especially if you’re not Italian, especially if you didn’t come up as me, especially if you weren’t raised by who I was raised by a man who was so profoundly affected by it.

Chris: Everybody knows it’s not the N word. Well then why’d you say it? Because I was pissed off and I was trying to make a point to somebody. It wasn’t my closing argument on the show. I know what the N word is and what it isn’t. I fight for social justice as a journalist because I think that’s part of our job. The idea that journalists aren’t advocates is silly. You’re advocating for the truth and the truth is that we don’t have a level of justice, a fairness under law that we should and certainly the African American community doesn’t have it. I say it all the time and I say it because it’s true. I get it.

Chris: I was pissed off. I was mad at this guy, especially once I realized I think he’s one of mine. And I asked the guy and he was. He was of Italian decent or so he said.

Paul: Right. Right.

Chris: I was pissed off so you’re not at your best. And then everybody in the media who wanted to slice it up sliced it up like I was making a polemical argument about it and I wasn’t. That’s the media. That’s okay. I opened myself up to it. I take it. That’s fine.

Chris: What I don’t like is the idea that it’s okay to be mean and it’s okay to treat somebody in a bad way based on how they’re different from you. If I want to come at you there’s a hundred ways.

Paul: That’s the important point, Chris. I think that I want to focus on and I think needs to be focused on is what the President has consistently done is dehumanize. Whether it’s brown people coming across the border or Muslims or his political opposition or the media, there is a dehumanizing and that includes public people. Right, the idea that you as a public person can be dehumanized bothers me on your behalf personally as your friend, as someone who cares about you but also someone who cares about this country.

Chris: It’s also just cheap.

Paul: It is cheap. It is cheap.

Chris: You don’t want to deal with what I’m saying.

Paul: Yeah.

Chris: So you deal with me.

Paul: I’m glad you brought up, you know, your dad grew up in a time and you grew up in a world in politics where there was a certain level of respect. There was a certain level of decorum in public figures and expectation that people would talk a certain way, act a certain way. Your dad was governor most of the time when I was growing up and I came from an Italian family and he was a role model for people, right. And he was the type of leader that people aspired to be like and maybe if he made a different choice, there would be no Bill Clinton. He might be president. But the point is that there was a set of rules that people generally abided by that was about respect and that was about understanding people’s humanity and that is gone. And that is what troubles me the most about the environment he created.

Chris: It’s not gone. It is being-

Paul: Well, it’s gone from the White House, right.

Chris: It’s being tested.

Paul: And it’s gone from that tone-

Chris: It’s being tested.

Paul: … that is being controlled and what it creates is an environment where people think it’s okay to walk up to you and say something in front of your kids because they don’t like what you say. Or they think it’s okay to call a social worker and threaten them because they disagree with the stance an organization took.

Paul: There’s a rabidness to it that is, in my view, out of control.

Chris: Right.

Paul: And he is in a unique position to control it and every one of us that have a platform of any kind can control it in our way. And I’ve asked people who listen to the show to think about how they can control it. Whether it’s at their supermarket or at their dinner table. So as you operate in this media environment, is there common ground here among the Tucker Carlson’s and you and Hannity?

Paul: Hannity was a guy who stepped out to defend you.

Chris: Yeah.

Paul: But where is the road forward here? It’s going to get worse, right.

Chris: I mean for pundits, I hope not. It certainly could but I hope not. You know pundits are in the business of selling their perspective. You know, people will lump me in with that as an insult, right because they’ll be denying the existence of your journalism because the journalism is elevated above that and it should be. But they are selling ideas. So they’re going to go with what works and Carlson … Look, Hannity, in defense of him … I’m not defending him because he was nice to me. I’ve always said this about him. People beat me up about it all the time.

Chris: I’ve known him many years. He’s always been saying this. The president is an echo of him. He’s not an echo of the president. He’s not a pundit. He’s not a puppet of the president. The president, if anything … I don’t think the president’s his puppet either.

Paul: I think that’s very insightful.

Chris: But that’s true.

Paul: That is insightful and that’s something that not a lot of folks have talked about.

Chris: It’s just accurate. Hannity has not changed his tune. He’s not changed his game.

Paul: Yep.

Chris: These are his ideas and he believes them on and off camera. A guy like Carlson and these other fringe right figures, they’re playing to advantage and I think it’s wrong to sell people toxicity. I think that’s a mistake and they all say, “Well so do you.” That’s part of the new environment is the I’m going to say about you what you say about me, even though contextually it’s almost never accurate. This president does a lot of that.

Chris: What people need to understand, when we do the segment on the show called Don’t be a Sucker, it’s because he’s playing you when he does these things. He’s expecting you to be too stupid and too absorbed by emotion to see the play and that as long as he says, “No, I’m not a bigot. You’re a bigot.” That therefore somehow he’s equalized it. That stuff is cheap and dangerous and we’re supposed to be better than that.

Chris: Here’s the problem Peej and the democrats didn’t understand this and it beat them. And I don’t know that they understand it yet either, which is the anger is real. I was happy you chose the name Angry American for the podcast. A lot of people only ascribe negative traits to anger. I don’t. I see it as a very prime and basic motivating emotion. A lot of therapists, like mine, will use the term reach emotion.

Paul: Right.

Chris: Where do you go with most facility to deal with a situation? Anger is often my reach emotion. I actually work on that. I know that’s hard to tell based on the last piece of audio and video that came out about me but it doesn’t have to be negative. It doesn’t have to mean aggression and violence. It’s about an emotional dedication and a passionate response thing that could be positive or negative. You know, you could be angry by what happened. You could save a child. You know, you could be angry. You could throw somebody down a flight of stairs. Those are different things motivated by the same emotion. It doesn’t have to be about Animus.

Chris: So the anger, the hostility, the frustration, the desperation, the fear is real. And the irony is that this man who is president does not have any affinity to any of those emotional concepts as the people who are looking to him see it and experience it and yet they look to him. What that tells you is that they are so desperate and I do not mean that as a criticism. I’m saying that it’s so real. They’re so worried. They feel so disaffected, so forgotten that they would pick a guy that they know is not what they really want but at least he is there for them and says he’ll do it. And in a liar’s game, in an ugly game, in a virus ridden game he is their own agent.

Paul: Yeah. That’s a part of why I chose to name the show Angry Americas because the anger is real. And in my view, it’s often justified and its a righteous anger that drove the Civil Rights movement, created the Boston Tea Party. We could go on and on, right. And if you’re not angry on some levels, you’re not paying attention. The question becomes what do you do with it and I wanted this show to be a place that reclaimed it in some ways and channeled it into a positive place in opposition to the way he’s channeled it into a very negative place.

Paul: In a similar way to Colbert kind of mocked the conservatism with the Colbert Report and kind of twisted it on its head. This had become a similar Rorschach test in that people see in anger what they want to see in it. It becomes a very interesting tool, an interesting pivot for this show and how people react to it. Most people agree that a mass shooting is a reason to be angry. Right? What do you do about it? How do you channel it? That is up to us as free thinkers and as leaders, whether it’s in your family or on a TV show. So it takes me to the question that I do ask every single guest which is, Chris Cuomo, what makes you angry?

Chris: What makes me angry? A lot of things that make me angry. Let me give you a probably atypical answer than what you get on the show. I’m angry at myself a lot. I’m angry at myself for falling short as a parent, as a partner, and as a person. Although I pray in reverse. I pray for strength and guidance to be a better person, parent, and partner because that’s how I prioritize. You know you got to be good to yourself and other, as an example for your kids and that will motivate you to be good to them. Because you’re only going to be as good with your kids as you are in general.

Chris: People think they’ll be different people for their kids but you are who you are. You are what you practice. So I’m very angry at myself on a regular basis about falling short for the people who matter to me. By extension, I will be angry at myself on a regular basis for how I perform on the show and how the show is doing and what it means. Not just ratings because as the referee, you’re only going to get so much of the pie right now because people are rooting for the teams. You know they’re there for right and left. They’re not there for the ref. All the ref does is screw up the game. You know, to the extent that he or she is relevant, they’re relevant because people are pissed at them for what they did.

Chris: So I get that and I’m playing a long game. But resonance and relevance and where you weigh in and where you don’t weigh in and how. And when you matter and how you pick your spots and how you test power. I’m very tough on myself about that because I think it matters a lot and I’m often angry with my level of follow through and dedication.

Chris: I am angry that we are allowing ourselves to fall for the bait of division. I’m angry that I’m not doing enough to make people see it for what it is. And I got to tell you, I mean I get heat for this but I don’t really care. I mean I’m blessed with a relative level of emotional shallowness. So you can only hurt me so much because I can only feel so much. You know? That’s one of the benefits for me. You can’t hurt me that deep. I don’t go that deep. It’s just, you mess with my kids. Now you’re playing on something that matters to me more than myself.

Paul: Yeah.

Chris: I don’t like that I’m not getting through. If the President wins again, I’m fine with that. Democracy is the ultimate goal and as long as it’s a fair outcome, then the people have gotten what they want. And it’s not a mobocracy. So that’s what they get. I’m okay with it. I’m telling you now I’ll be okay with it.

Paul: I’m not okay with it.

Chris: I understand.

Paul: And I think a lot of other people are not okay with it.

Chris: I understand that.

Paul: But even more importantly, I don’t think I have that certainty that it’s going to be fair. I mean when-

Chris: Well that’s different.

Paul: When the Mueller report is flagging Russian intervention in our democracy as a core issue and everyone gets distracted by whatever shit he Tweets about today. I think that a key part of leadership is prioritization and what you choose to focus on.

Chris: Right.

Paul: And things he’s choosing to focus on right now endanger our national security, endanger our domestic unity, endanger our global stability.

Chris: He’s certainly f-ing with the fabric.

Paul: Yeah.

Chris: There’s no question.

Paul: I mean I called him last week. He’s kind of like Farkus from A Christmas Story, right.

Chris: Yeah.

Paul: He’s messing with Ralphie. He’s messing with everybody and so I guess what … I have a problem with it. I think you are much more diplomatic and you deserve credit too because people don’t understand the stability that you and … Let me put Matt out in this category too. There’s something you guys do. You shake hands with your guests. A lot of people don’t do that. I’ve been on Hannity’s show. He didn’t shake my fucking hand. He was not respectful to me when I was an up and comer. It was 2004 I went on his show. He came at me. He didn’t talk to me before. He didn’t talk to me afterward and some people will do that.

Paul: Just the two of you as an example, bring a certain level of respect and I think honor and integrity to the craft and to humanity. Saying, “Hey, I’m going to shake your hand. How are you today? I’m going to thank you afterward. Call you sir or ma’am.” I think that that is more important than ever and I think it must be recognized and it must be noted. But as we came in here, we started talking about the cars in this place and when we were growing up. That for me and for you, came from a place when we were growing up, right?

Chris: Yeah. And also especially for me, my brother Andrew.

Paul: Yeah.

Chris: Pop was not a car guy. He wasn’t a thing guy. He was completely non-acquisitive. He wasn’t about things. You know, he grew up so dirt poor as a depression baby and stuff but Andrew is a master mechanic and he paid his way through school working AAA and buying and selling cars.

Paul: You know, my brother’s a mechanic too. We’ve never had this conversation.

Chris: I did not know. I never knew that.

Paul: My brother’s a mechanic.

Chris: But Andrew’s like the real deal.

Paul: Yeah. Yeah.

Chris: He’s taught me just about everything I know and the only reason I don’t say everything I know is because I’ve had my own screw ups on my on time that I’ve had to figure out because as I’ve gotten older he’s been too busy.

Paul: Yeah.

Chris: But he’s the kind of guy who like hears something and then knows something about a machine. I’m the one who like the shit breaks and then you buy the part-

Paul: But it teaches you.

Chris: … I’ll put it back.

Paul: It teaches you about respecting things and people.

Chris: Oh yeah. He makes stuff better.

Paul: And hard work and putting in the work.

Chris: Yes.

Paul: And understanding and learning.

Chris: He makes stuff better. That guy took apart a washing machine and put it back together for my mother when he was like 16.

Chris: By the time I was 11, it was all American cars then. I mean if there were foreign cars it was a very select group and certainly not in my neighborhood. I would be on the highway with my family in the car and I would know every car on the road. And I would know it by like a sliver of the vehicle. I could see a little bit of a light.

Paul: Make, model, year. Yeah.

Chris: And I would know.

Paul: Yeah.

Chris: Now, I’ve lost it. It actually bothers me a little bit. I’ve lost that ability because there are too many cars that look to alike now. You know, cars used to have distinctive shapes.

Paul: Yeah, yeah.

Chris: You know? Now what’s the difference between like a Lexus and a Hyundai and a BMW and an Acura? It’s hard to tell but I love cars, especially old cars. Andrew has several. I have one. I had a ’93 Bronco that I drove around. I got rid of that. Now I have a 2014 Raptor because I needed the capacity and the separation of funky stuff from friendly stuff.

Chris: But I have a ’69 Firebird that I’ve had for 22 years that I went through the whole car with my buddy Erik in his house garage in Queens and then we did the paint outside. And then I had a guy named Sunny Palermo from Bay Ridge Brooklyn do the bottom of the engine and then we rebuilt the top of the engine with a good buddy of his that has a garage. And I then smacked it up doing a burnout leaving one of my wife’s parties and I banged into the back of my friend’s parked car. So then I had it repainted. So I’ve had that car forever and until I put a port injection system on it from Holly with a buddy of mine who was running Popular Hot Rodding at the time and this guy named-

Paul: Your buddy who was running Popular Hot Rodding at the time and you got Sunny Palermo and your brother who’s now the governor is a master mechanic.

Chris: Yeah. It takes a village.

Paul: This is a deeper level than I expected, Cuomo.

Chris: Nick Giordano is the guy who helps me the most with the car. He’s in Coram. Yeah, a lot of them are Italians. Although Rich Freiburg, who’s the Popular Hot Rodding guy, now he’s huge on Instagram. He is not Italian. But they taught me everything I know. So I know cars. You can ask me anything about it. I’ll have an easy answer.

Paul: So Chris Cuomo, what was your first car?

Chris: ’77 Cutlass called the Cut Loose 305, which was a dog of an engine. But it did have a four barrel on it and that made a big difference for that car. It had a straight three speed transmission and it was stock but it was white with fire engine red interior velour.

Paul: Wow.

Chris: And that was some cheesy shit by today’s standards but I put a JVC stereo in it with the orange instead of the green LCD crystal display and I put some nine inch Jensen speakers in the pack and a Pioneer tweener speakers in the front. It was a cassette player and that was the shit, that car. And I detailed the entire engine. I painted the entire engine in the car. I would use pieces of cardboard as separators and my hand. So it was always filled with paint. And I used that light blue, GM color paint, for the whole manifold and the block. I painted the exhaust manifolds white. I shouldn’t have. I should have done gray. That was stupid. And I did the valve covers blue also because they weren’t chrome.

Chris: I did the whole engine and did the air cleaner stock black. And that car was tight. It was clean and the ladies liked it.

Paul: Wow.

Chris: Oh yeah.

Paul: That’s a really good answer, Cuomo.

Chris: And the inside smelled so good.

Paul: That answer did not disappoint. You’re still going. Go ahead, keep going.

Chris: The inside of that car-

Paul: The inside smelled good.

Chris: … smelled so good.

Paul: the red velour smelled good.

Chris: And the carpet. Yeah. It was almost like velvety.

Paul: What did it smell like? I’ve never asked this of anyone. What did your car smell like?

Chris: Carpet Fresh.

Paul: Carpet Fresh.

Chris: Remember Carpet Fresh?

Paul: Yes, I do.

Chris: The powder.

Paul: I do. I do.

Chris: What I would do with that-

Paul: Yes.

Chris: … is I would mix it with water and make it into like a paste and put it on a rag and I would rub the stuff down, wait for it to dry, and then vacuum it all off and it would small great for weeks.

Paul: And then it would smell fucking disgusting.

Chris: No.

Paul: No, really?

Chris: No, no, no. Not mine. I keep my shit right.

Paul: Wow.

Chris: My boat, my truck.

Paul: Are there any photos of you? Like what did your hair look like and did you have the biceps going on like you got now when you were driving that thing?

Chris: No. I was in military school so I had … My hair didn’t curl until I hit puberty. So I had a cut on my head so I didn’t have to keep my hair cut for a certain length as it was growing back and I was going to take a piss during basketball practice when I was like 15, 14, when I was really in puberty. My hair was curly and I had never seen it as curly before so I had no game. I went to chess king. I had some other ties. I had some parachute pants, Capezios. Some Cavaricci, Hyper Color.

Paul: The Z Cavaricci.

Chris: Sure. Sure.

Paul: You’re like the lost character from Dazed and Confused. Like was Matthew McConaughey racing you when you were in this vehicle?

Chris: No. No.

Paul: Jesus.

Chris: But that was my game and the Cut Loose was a life changer for me. Life changer, being able to drive and get out.

Paul: This is why we ask the car question but that’s a whole new level. You have set a new bar for the car question on Angry Americans. That is up there, man. That is going to be a hard one to top going forward.

Chris: That car made me (inaudible).

Paul: What happened to it? Do you have any idea what happened to it?

Chris: Yeah. You know, when I went to college-

Paul: Sean Hannity bought it.

Chris: Yeah, right. Added it to his fleet.

Chris: I sold it to my sister’s cleaning lady’s son. He needed a car and it was just … And actually, you know where it was sitting? It was sitting at the Javits Center. My father was governor when I went to college and it broke down at the Javits Center and they kept calling me. They were trying to be nice but they were like, “You got to get your car out of here.” And it was sitting in some back lot at the Javits Center and I wound up selling it. I don’t miss it.

Paul: So I think that cars teach you a lot about life. You learned a lot from your dad and all these other role models growing up but you also are passionate about fishing.

Chris: Very.

Paul: So why do you like fishing?

Chris: Process.

Paul: And what do you learn about fishing?

Chris: Process. I love process. I mean I don’t love waiting in line. I’m talking about like the process of fishing, in particular tackle, preparation, skill of know how, tying knots, understanding tackle. I don’t believe in the acquisitive nature of that. You know, guys collect tackle like the stereotype of women and shoes. A lot of guys collect shoes and sneakers also, right. You got your sneaker heads. But I don’t believe in that.

Paul: Do you get lost in the precision? Is that kind of an escape?

Chris: Yeah.

Paul: You can be so laser focused.

Chris: It’s 100% an escape. I love to catch. Everybody wants to catch.

Paul: Yeah.

Chris: But I’m fine when I don’t. I love running the boat. I love the boat being right, which almost never freaking happens. Boats are a nightmare.

Paul: Right.

Chris: But I love that. I love having the tackle. I love taking people out. I love taking people out and putting them on fish way more than I love catching fish.

Paul: Yeah.

Chris: I am so happy when I am out with a couple of guys and we’re on the fish or I have Mario, my son. And I’m not a sexist. I’d take my girls. They don’t want to go. Cha Cha will come sometimes. Bella was never really into it. She sees me now as a taxi service to take her and young boys tubing and shit like that. So I’ll do that. I’m fine.

Paul: If only she knows what you used to drive.

Chris: That’s right. She would drive anything. She’s so desperate to get out of the house and have control of her own time. So I love the prep.

Paul: Yep.

Chris: I love the know how. I love the planning. I love the guy time.

Paul: Yeah.

Chris: I love what they talk about. I love the perspective shift. I love being on the water. I love the salinity. And I love the boating. And I love the excitement. And I love the conservation aspect of it. You know, people who come after me for catching fish, they misplace priorities. One, I am very slow to accept somebody’s profound sense of humanity that they don’t want to hurt these animals. I almost always go to their sites and I start looking at what invariably pops up as all the nasty shit that they engage in. Because they’re almost all political people. There’re very few people who have an interest in me that aren’t political people.

Paul: That may change after this show.

Chris: We’ll see. But the idea that oh you care about the striped bass but you’re saying all these terrible things about the President or about the democrats or about whatever it is, whoever they’re attacking. And it’s like, get straight with your own life before you start judging other people’s. And I do a lot of catch and release anyway. And I’ll tell you something illegal. My rule is this on my boat and I’m sure Andrew’s going to hate that I say this but when it comes to striped bass, I’d rather you keep a short fish that I believe eat better than … You know as striped bass get bigger, they get bigger liver stripes. They get a little mealy but they also become breeders. Over 30 inches about, striped bass become breeders and I say, “Why keep these big ass bass that are so productive as breeders, don’t even eat as well when you could just keep a smaller one?”

Chris: And I understand that they have different science that fuels their limits and their idea of what to cull and what not but on my boat I’ll say to you, “You want to keep a 26 inch fish instead of a 28 inch fish, fine. That’s your fish.” But you don’t keep a big fish. When it comes in we use a lot of non-barbed hooks. Let’s take the picture and then we release it. My phone is filled with videos of me releasing fish.

Paul: My father, similarly, gets the same kind of satisfaction in getting people to get fish and getting them up on water skis.

Chris: Ooh.

Paul: That’s the other thing. My dad will take a very special satisfaction in getting people up on water skis. But I got to ask you Chris because we asked it in the last show and it’s relevant. We have a show that I push a debate of the day when I host for you on Let’s Get After It. And I give this very difficult question. You must choose, usually between two alternatives. Pancakes or waffles. Cheese or chocolate. Beer or whiskey. But-

Chris: I’m good at all of those things.

Paul: But I offered one a couple weeks ago that was the first time I offered three options that I have to ask you now. Ocean, lake-

Chris: Ocean.

Paul: … or river?

Chris: Ocean.

Paul: Ocean.

Chris: It’s not even a contest.

Paul: Not even a contest.

Chris: Nope.

Paul: I figured you would say that but I had to give you a chance to respond to that.

Chris: You know why? The salinity but also the boundlessness of it. The ocean is bigger than us.

Paul: Yeah.

Chris: Now, there are huge lakes. Literally great lakes, right but they end somewhere.

Paul: I mean you grew up in New York. Your father and now your brother have had a huge part of what’s right behind you right now, which is the Hudson River.

Chris: Yeah.

Paul: The rebirth of the Hudson River is one of the great stories of the last couple of decades.

Chris: Andrew’s very big on it. Very big on it.

Paul: Right? My father catches blues in the Hudson. I grew up swimming in the Hudson. People used to say that’s why my brother and I-

Chris: Lot of stripers there early season.

Paul: … were so big because of the radiation in the Hudson.

Chris: Yeah.

Paul: But now the Hudson’s really a great-

Chris: It’s doing better.

Paul: … success story of conservation.

Chris: Got a way to go.

Paul: And now may be one of the cleanest estuaries-

Chris: It’s getting there.

Paul: … in the country.

Chris: But it need better.

Paul: Right.

Chris: Andrew understands that. You got to balance commerce and conservation. He gets that too. He’s very pragmatic. He doesn’t get enough credit for that. Andrew is such a better politician than my father was.

Paul: Really?

Chris: Yeah.

Paul: Why do you think so?

Chris: Because Andrew understands … No, I’m telling you. Look, I know he’s my big brother. I know I’m not objective about him. That’s why I don’t cover him. That would be silly and when people say, “Why didn’t you cover this that your brother did?” It’s like that’s so asinine. Why do you think I didn’t? And of course he raised me. Andrew’s 13 years older than I am. Everything I know how to do, really he taught me how to do because pop was away.

Paul: Right.

Chris: You know, I played a lot of ball with pop when I got older but he doesn’t fish. He didn’t fight. You know he didn’t do any of these things. Andrew was the guy who’s so good with his hands. Andrew taught me a lot of how to be a man and how to take care of family and what you should do and how to be around the house. Rebuilding the lawn mower, and fishing, and boating. All of this shit I learned from my brother.

Paul: Right.

Chris: I mean what’s right is right.

Paul: Right.

Chris: He doesn’t like what I do on a regular basis and he really came at me hard about last week. Not because he doesn’t have my back. Of course he has my back. Stupid media. Governor weighs in in favor or throws his weight behind his brother. Of course he’s going to. Family is everything to us. You know, I could have killed a bag of kittens and he would have said, “He’s still my brother and I love him but I have to take objection to what he did.” And he certainly does because Cuomos, we don’t fake the funk like that.

Chris: You know one, if you’re so angry that you’re going to hit me, hit me. Don’t just sit there shit talking me for an hour and a half, which is what I did. That was a mistake. Don’t be what you oppose. He’s 100% right. When they put my father on the cover of the New York Post as a mafia don, I have never been angrier about a media representation that involves me or anything that I did than I was with that. That was the cheapest, worst. I will never respect that outlet ever again. Not because I’m some victim. They didn’t do me wrong. I put myself in the position but to put a dead man that you know damn well … Murdoch knows damn well what being represented as a mafioso would mean to my father and he did it anyway. That is where we are right now.

Paul: Yeah.

Chris: No decency. That is not a man of honor. Now, you can say, “Oh, who are you to talk? Look how you handled yourself.” Honor is often in the accountability as well. Integrity isn’t always being right, always doing the right thing. Even the definition of doing the right thing when other people don’t know, even that assumes that we’re flawed and that you need a standard because it reflects the reality which is we’re going to fall short. I fell short.

Chris: And I appreciate people saying, “No you didn’t. You did the right thing. I would have done the same thing.” Thank you, thank you. I don’t agree. I wish I could do it over.

Paul: Look, character is how you respond. Right? And character is defined over the course of your life. Right? We’re going to be judged on our death bed or when we’re gone or by our children, maybe most of all. Right? And you touched on something just now and I know we’re going back to this but I think it’s important that I don’t know if people understand who don’t know the intersection of the Italian American experience and politics to fully understand.

Paul: I worked for Gerry Ferraro.

Chris: May she rest in peace.

Paul: I drove a bus for Geraldine Ferraro when she was running for senate against Chuck Schumer. Okay.

Chris: Talk about people who had it hard.

Paul: It was 1998. It was when I first graduated college. It was a job-

Chris: Italian American. Married to a guy who was controversial.

Paul: Right. Right. Right.

Chris: To be nice about it.

Paul: Right. But I think that that’s a side of this that maybe … If there’s a silver lining and we’re going in the way way back machine in many elements in America right now about the darker parts of our history but I don’t think people fully understand the modern Italian American experience. Quite frankly and especially what politicians of that era had to experience and why there is and rightfully so a certain level sensitivity.

Chris: Yeah.

Paul: I look like the least Italian guy around maybe. My grandmother was named Golela. She had 11 brothers and sisters. They all lived in the Bronx together and I grew up in an Italian community and an Italian family. So maybe I had a little bit higher radar to it than people might expect but the reason I focus back on it, Chris, is because I don’t think people fully understand the intersection of identity and politics period. Fully. But you’ve lived in it. You grew up in it.

Chris: They’re certainly getting it now.

Paul: And why that is especially egregious.

Chris: Especially with pop.

Paul: Yeah.

Chris: I mean people think he didn’t run for president because he had mob ties.

Paul: Right.

Chris: George W Bush, George HW Bush, may he rest in peace, they had an open investigation into my father looking for him. He had feds tell him, “You know, we’ve been looking at you.”

Paul: Right.

Chris: “We never found anything.”

Paul: Right.

Chris: And he’s like, “Of course you never found anything.”

Paul: Right.

Chris: You know? His brother, may he rest in peace, was in the waste management business for Waldbaums. Everybody therefore thought it’s such a mobbed up business, he must be in it. He killed himself to be seen as clean and never ask of my father for anything, never involving the state. He was a man of such incredible integrity, as was my father. You don’t have to like his politics. There are certain political positions he had that I don’t like. You know what I mean?

Paul: Yeah.

Chris: But that’s not what it was about. And they know that. 15% of this state is Italian American. Now a lot of Italian Americans have lost contact with that. You know, we’re just considered white people. Peej, I remember the day that my father saw something written about me where it was about being white or whatever. It was pre Trump obviously and he laughed and said, “I’m glad we made it. I’m glad that we’re considered white people now.” And he said it as a joke because he never felt that he was considered white. He was an ethnic.

Paul: Yeah.

Chris: They treated him differently in school. They called him names. The way they used to describe him in politics. If you go back and Google how they described him, swarthy, gapped toothed, baggie eyed. Now some of it is just physical. Well he had baggie eyes. But it was also, they had a tinge … or at least to us.

Paul: Yeah. That’s why I think there’s a bigger conversation that can come out of a lot of these issues that are on the periphery about what’s happening in America and our understanding of our ethnic differences and our collective history. And you know, drawing the different parallels that will come out of every single candidate that’s running right now.

Chris: Right.

Paul: Whether it’s Bernie Sanders running as a Jewish person or Kamala Harris running as an African American woman. Every one of them, especially in this environment will experience a special kind of attack that will be racial in tone or will be ethnic in tone and maybe there is an opportunity for us to have a greater sensitivity and a learning. The silver lining for me on most things Trump does is that it’s a teachable moment. Right? He is the anti-example in many ways.

Chris: If it is-

Paul: Every time he does something especially-

Chris: … I don’t know.

Paul: … stupid or outrageous-

Chris: I don’t know. I think a lot of it is respective of the norm. Because we say don’t be like that but then there’s this counter of, “Yeah but maybe we are like that.”

Paul: Well I like-

Chris: And maybe when Bernie Sanders runs-

Paul: You’re great about the better selves and about appealing to our better angels and I’m not going to sit here and blow smoke up your ass but you have been an advocate, especially on issues like the border that I think much of the media has forgotten. An issue that’s essential to people who live on the border and in many parts of the country. An essential issue that’s happening in America that often gets pushed aside.

Paul: You have been talking about what you call the brown menace right and how Trump has framed this in that context. So I think it’s important to recognize that but maybe coming back to where you come from and who you are, I ask every guest another question. I want to bring the light forward and I want to bring light to all the heat, right because there’s too much heat in this country and I think you’re a guy who does bring light. And I want to be a guy who does the same and I ask anybody who listens to be the same.

Paul: Chris Cuomo, what makes you happy?

Chris: My kids. Healthy kids. The first part of the prayer is thank you for making my … You know, prayers for Catholics are always help me, help me, help me, thank you, thank you, thank you. And it’s thank you for making my kids healthy and happy, my wife. My wife’s battling Lyme disease right now and Epstein-Barr. So she’s fighting all this stuff and she’s doing it well. So when they’re healthy and happy, life is right. I’m able to take care of them to the extent that I can, life is right. Makes me happy.

Chris: No, no. Doesn’t make me happy. I’m good with happiness. I like happy. I’m happy for people that seek happy but I’m about fulfillment and it’s a different thing for me because it’s about the satisfaction of a sense of purpose for me. Like pizza makes me freaking happy but I’m not fulfilled.

Paul: That’s okay. You can stay with happy.

Chris: Yeah, no.

Paul: You can stay with with just pizza making you happy.

Chris: So I’m good with happy. I just see happy as surficial. I see it as ephemeral.

Paul: Yeah. But all do respect, it’s my turn to ask the questions. So I got to press you and I want to know what’s happy. I really do.

Chris: When I turn the key and the boat starts and all of the levels and the numbers are right, I’m happy.

Paul: See, that’s that moment of purity, that moment of satisfaction.

Chris: You know, when Raptor doesn’t stink like gas, I’m happy. When my dog hasn’t put a hole in the yard that I got to fix, I’m happy. When my son has honored his commitment to do poop patrol, I’m happy. When I see that his books on his desk are open and not fake open with fake pages turned over, I’m happy. You know? When I come in and my pool is not 110 degrees, I’m happy.

Paul: These are the things, especially in times like this and in a summer like this, I think we all need little moments of happiness and little moments of-

Chris: When I can get into a deep squat I’m very happy.

Paul: All right, so-

Chris: Very happy.

Paul: I was debating whether or not to go here with you but we got to talk about it because you and I have talked a little bit about working out.

Chris: Well you’ve lost a lot of weight.

Paul: I lost 32 pounds.

Chris: Yeah.

Paul: And I got freaking serious but I was also fat and I was out of control.

Chris: You would have never heard me say that.

Paul: I really bunkered down and got serious. No, I’ll say it. I was wondering why everybody didn’t tell me I was fat-

Chris: Because you can pull their head off like a bottle cap.

Paul: No. I mean I’ve been as big as 200. When I played football I was as big as 283 pounds.

Chris: Yeah. That’s why they don’t say anything to you.

Paul: When I was in the army I got down to like 203. So I’ve swung in many directions.

Chris: They don’t say anything to you-

Paul: But on your birthday, if people look at your Instagram, there’s a picture of you with some pretty sizeable biceps.

Chris: Yeah, a little bit. It’s probably a composition.

Paul: And fitness is something that you and I have talked about offline. It makes you happy but what’s your routine, man? How do you stay fit in an environment like this where you’re working so hard? Tips for people who want to stay in shape and kind of keep that part of-.

Chris: Variety is the spice of life. Biggest mistake you could make with exercise is routine. You know, we all know the story of the person we see in the gym on the treadmill. They’re doing an hour and 15 minutes on the treadmill. They’re fat. Why? It’s about muscle confusion and diet obviously.

Paul: Diet is … That’s what I changed radically.

Chris: Especially as you get older.

Paul: Now that’s it. Once I hit 40, I could work out until I was blue in the face. What I really learned in this time is that if i got my calories down below 2,000, which is hard as hell-

Chris: Hard for big boys.

Paul: It’s harder than working out.

Chris: It’s hard for big boys.

Paul: The discipline that’s required to get your diet at a level to actually achieve a calorie deficit where you’re losing weight is much harder.

Chris: Yeah.

Paul: I think for me and for most people.

Chris: Intermittent fasting is really good with that.

Paul: Yeah. Yeah.

Chris: I lost that. In the winter time I’m like 225 and in the summer time I try to get to 205. Now I’ve like split that. I’m walking around like 215.

Paul: Do you weigh more than me right now?

Chris: Right now I’m like 215.

Paul: So today I’m 222.

Chris: So no.

Paul: No.

Chris: Would be the easy answer.

Paul: Okay.

Chris: But at some point in the winter I’ll be heavier than you are right now but I train heavy in the winter.

Paul: Yeah.

Chris: I lift weight. I’m not as vain about how I’m going to look because I’m obviously all covered up. I also like the askesis of it. I like the self discipline of it of trying to lose that weight-

Paul: Right.

Chris: … trying to lean out. It’s hard.

Paul: It is.

Chris: Intermittent fasting helps. But I do a lot of different things. The new piece is no more jiujitsu, no more martial arts. I do self defense. Not because I’m worried. I love it because I’m terrible at it. All my instincts are wrong. I let people come way too close. I want everybody to hit me first.

Paul: We saw that, yeah.

Chris: Yeah.

Paul: Yeah. That’s what the self defense training in me was thinking.

Chris: Yeah.

Paul: Is like people should not be that close to you.

Chris: I let people right up on me. I let them get close. My instinct is to grab and any self defense guy will be like … Tony Blauer is great. He has the spear system and he uses the flinch reflex and how to step into somebody and all the stuff that you learned, second nature and combat training. But I love it because I’m bad at it and it’s such a great mind fuck for me in terms of like what would you do.

Paul: Yeah.

Chris: How would you do it? What choice would you make? And tapping into something in yourself that I am not comfortable with. I don’t like the idea of what would I do to somebody in order to save myself. I don’t like it. So I love the training of it and it gets a little withering because I’m always getting beaten up. I’m always losing.

Paul: Yeah. I mean the jujitsu and-

Chris: Jujitsu is much easier for me.

Paul: But a lot of it is just tough on the joints.

Chris: Yes.

Paul: And the concussions on the body. The strikes are tough.

Chris: Right.

Paul: And the joints are just fragile when you get older.

Chris: Right. So I back off on that.

Paul: It’s a lot harder to roll around when you’re 50 than when you’re 20.

Chris: Yeah. So I stopped the rolling around because I don’t have the flexibility anymore to roll around with guys my size.

Paul: Yeah.

Chris: They’re too strong. They’re too flexible, especially over time.

Paul: Yeah.

Chris: Even though like your power curve is pretty steep and it’s diminution and your endurance curve is pretty flat, it hasn’t manifested itself for me. I get tired fast. You know, I have like 30 seconds of go and then I’m vulnerable.

Paul: So we said this on the radio show. We’re at the car club. They do a charity event here for cops and firefighters around Saint Patty’s Day where they have the cops versus the firefighters. Can we maybe put together a charity event where it’s me and you versus Hannity and Tucker?

Chris: Yeah. If you’re on my team.

Paul: Yeah. Yeah.

Chris: Yeah.

Paul: Yeah.

Chris: Sean’s too smart to get involved with that because once he does a little research on you he’d be like, “No, no, no. No thanks. I want to pick my own guy and it ain’t going to be Tucker.”

Paul: Yeah.

Chris: He would find like some Seal to come and he’s probably active duty.

Paul: He probably would.

Chris: And wrap himself around you.

Paul: or one of these guys, yeah. Yeah.

Chris: One of these-

Paul: He’s calling in somebody else.

Chris: Yeah. Somebody who would like come at me because you’re supposed to go at the weak guy. So you’re going to wind up okay. No one’s going to come at you. They’re going to all come at me.

Paul: I’m too old, man. I want to graduate to being just a promoter and the manager at this point but I got to-

Chris: I’ll tell you what I’d like to do with those guys. I don’t see them as opposites. You know, Tucker, I got issues with what he does. I think it’s cheap. Hannity believes what he believes. Of course you can criticize what he says and he could do the same. I would love to have something where you see people who are perceived opposites showing how much they have in common.

Paul: Yeah. That’s what I’m wondering. I don’t know if you’ve ever been on his show or he’s ever been on yours.

Chris: No. But if I took you to dinner with Hannity-

Paul: Yeah.

Chris: … one, as soon as he heard that you felt that you were disrespected on his show he would kill himself to apologize to you.

Paul: Okay.

Chris: And I’m telling you I know him personally and none of this is about him being … I didn’t need him to be nice to me about this shit. This shit was going to go away one way or the other. I didn’t hurt anybody. I didn’t break any rule. I didn’t victimize anybody. But I know him and he believes in family. He believes in the country. He takes care of his friends. He’s generous AF with people around him and he’s a huge fight guy.

Paul: Yeah. So we’ll put that in the parking lot and we’ll come back and have a fishing trip with me and you and Tucker and Sean Hannity and whoever else. We can get Sunny or some of your other buddies to come and-

Chris: I don’t see Tucker as a fisherman. Don’t you see him like up in Maine being like a cocktail guy and comparing watches?

Paul: No but that’s why I want to see him. That’s why I want to see people in the environment that’s uncomfortable for them.

Chris: Don’t you see him like comparing watches with somebody? Like that’s his thing or hair products?

Paul: I don’t know what that dude does.

Chris: Those flecks and locks.

Paul: But I do have to be respectful of your time. I have to let you get over to CNN to roll around on TV with people. But before I do that, we have the tradition of the giving of the gifts. And I’m going way back here because-

Chris: The tradition of the giving.

Paul: If people are listening and you’ve never seen the video, we will post video on angryamericans.us. We have clips.

Chris: Wow.

Paul: Lots of good stuff. Now, my son is pissed because I gave you a bag that he just … It was his birthday this weekend and I thought that bag was great for you. It’s a Tyrannosaurus Rex and it says hooray on the outside.

Chris: Are you regifting?

Paul: No. I’m only regifting the bag.

Chris: Oh, okay.

Paul: Because bags are great and I think that, you know, hooray. Hooray for Cuomo. Cuomo’s here. You’re finally here. I’ve been trying to get you on this show for months.

Chris: Do you want me to tell you what’s in the bag?

Paul: I know what’s in the bag but you can tell the audience what’s in the bag. There’s three things in the bag. Hold on a minute because I know you don’t actually listen to my show. So first off, you have to choose between three colors of peeps.

Chris: I would rather you punch me in the face than choose one of these peeps.

Paul: Purple. I’m sorry. Pink, yellow, or blue. Which color peeps does Chris Cuomo choose and why?

Chris: Aren’t they all the same flavor?

Paul: They are all potentially the same flavor but this is insight.

Chris: Well blue is my favorite color. But I would choose the pink because-

Paul: You have to pick one or the other Cuomo. You can’t pick both.

Chris: Well, I would pick the pink.

Paul: Okay. Why?

Chris: Because my daughter will eat these and she loves pink.

Paul: There you go. Okay. Good answer. All right, next we got some swag for you.

Chris: Oh.

Paul: Angry American swag.

Chris: Oh, this I like.

Paul: Made in the USA. Since your favorite color is blue we have blue for you.

Chris: Very cool.

Paul: People can buy these online. Angryamericans.us. Made by Oscar Mike.

Chris: very nice.

Paul: Veteran. And you can wear that next time you’re fishing.

Chris: Oh, you’re the one who told me about the clothing company and I bought the pants and I bought shirts for Vicki and Christine.

Paul: Yeah. You were very supporting JCRT when they did the camouflage collection.

Chris: You gave me two different sizes. That’s nice of you.

Paul: I didn’t know.

Chris: Summer and winter.

Paul: Yeah. Guns out, suns out. Sun’s out, guns out. I was going to go with a small but instead I just went with an extra large and large.

Chris: Yeah. I usually wear a smedium. You know, that’s not true. Everything I wear is XL. I guarantee this t-shirt is XL.

Paul: Is it really? I’m telling you, you’re bigger than me now.

Chris: No, it’s not true. I’m not bigger than you.

Paul: And last we have something for you to enjoy when you’re on the boat or whatever you’re doing.

Chris: What kind is it?

Paul: Let me help you.

Chris: I may regift this.

Paul: Don’t regift it.

Chris: I regift. My mother’s terrible with that.

Paul: Yeah?

Chris: Yeah. She gives you stuff more than once.

Chris: Oh.

Paul: I go to the liquor store and I pick something that speaks to me. And I thought for you … It’s always an American whiskey. I wanted to get you something that was just really good. And it’s Campfire from High West.

Chris: I love it.

Paul: And I think you need this when you’re sitting around a campfire and celebrating life or the boat’s starting, you got some Campfire High West. Made in America like Chris Cuomo and I just want to end by thanking you.

Chris: Well first-

Paul: I mean this from the bottom of my heart. You’re a good man and you’re a patriot and you’re bringing a lot of positivity to this country. And when people see the shit on TV, they don’t see the shit that’s off TV and the people who are around you and know you have seen your commitment to friendship and family and country and I appreciate you. And you’ve been very generous to me and you’re doing this show at a time when you got a lot going on in the world and I’m just very, very grateful for you, man.

Chris: You are a good friend. You are a good man. I appreciate the gifts. Thank you very much and I appreciate the opportunity. You’re doing great.

Paul: Do we have to end with let’s get after it?

Chris: Always. Let’s get after it.

Paul: Let’s get after it.

Chris: There it is.

Paul: There it is.

Chris: Thank you for all this stuff Peej.

Paul: Yeah, man. Yeah, man. Thank you.

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