After seeing names like Oprah and Alec Baldwin floated for the 2020 presidential election, one Republican strategist thinks that being a politician is no longer a requirement to be elected to the country's highest office. In fact, being a human being might not be, either — at least according to CNN commentator Ana Navarro, who would rather vote for a potted plant over Donald Trump in 2020.
On Tuesday, Navarro told CNN's Brooke Baldwin that Trump "broke the mold," making people who are not experienced politicians to think that they could win the presidency:
We’re seeing the names of people like Howard Schultz, the former CEO now of Starbucks, being mentioned. We're seeing people like Mark Cuban being mentioned, Oprah, Alec Baldwin. And so, it’s opened up the possibilities for people who may not be traditional politicians but who are interested.
But Navarro didn't stop there; she also suggested that if a potted plant were the nominee in 2020, then it would probably make a better president than Trump.
"Frankly, at this point, I would vote for a potted plant over Donald Trump," Navarro told Baldwin, prompting laughter from political strategist Symone Sanders, who also appeared on Tuesday's CNN segment.
According to Vox, Navarro is a "Never Trump Republican" who has been openly critical of the president. She made her potted plant comment during a CNN segment pertaining to Baldwin, who told Howard Stern on Monday that he "would absolutely win" if he ran for president against Trump. Sanders' initial reaction was to criticize "unexperienced white men" like Baldwin for "throwing their name in the hat for president," and she wondered why more women of color wouldn't express similar confidence in their ability to win the presidency.
"The person that can stand up and credibly challenge Donald Trump is going to be someone who can speak to the heart of issues happening in America," Sanders said, "from McDowell County, West Virginia to Clarksdale, Mississippi to Omaha, Nebraska all the way over to San Francisco, California."
That person "doesn't just have to be a funny old white man," Sanders concluded.
Navarro took a different approach, arguing that it was precisely because Trump was elected that many other non-politicians are now expressing interest in the presidency. And as the BBC reported back in June 2016, when Trump's presidential campaign was still ongoing, voters turned to Trump because he was not a traditional politician. Many of Trump's supporters have been disillusioned by the existing political system, and believed that Trump would change the system because he wasn't part of the political establishment.
Now, Navarro argued, people like Oprah and Baldwin are drawing voters' interest for similar reasons. Since 2016, Navarro has described Trump as an "entertainer," though she said following Trump's victory that she hoped he would be different as president than he was on the campaign trail. But her hopes did not appear to come to fruition, because in the year and a half since Trump's election, Navarro has criticized his immigration policies, denounced his comments about women, and defended others who have spoken out against him.
This is also not the first time that Navarro has expressed her preference for a potted plant over Trump. Earlier this year, Navarro appeared on ABC's The View, where she told co-host Meghan McCain that she would prefer a potted plant or a mannequin to Trump. She also encouraged Republican women to vote against candidates like Roy Moore, prompting McCain to question whether or not Navarro was really a Republican. However, as a "Never Trump Republican," Navarro has made it clear in the past that she has no qualms voting for Democratic candidates when issues she cares about are at stake.