May 16th, 2008
01:59 PM ET
6 years ago

Ludacris and Tommy Lee talk politics

CNN Anchor Don Lemon talks politics with Ludacris and Tommy Lee
CNN Anchor Don Lemon talks politics with Ludacris and Tommy Lee

ATLANTA (CNN) - I’m not exactly sure how it happened. But yesterday I found myself involved in an intense discussion about politics in the middle of the newsroom with…. Wait for it…. rapper Ludacris and rocker Tommy Lee. The two men were here to promote their new reality show “Battleground Earth.” In the show both artists try to out green each other while trying to coax viewers into environmental consciousness.

Out of the gate I asked about green backlash. Many people feel like this entire “going green” movement has become more marketing than reality. They agreed that while people might see it that way, it’s not necessarily so, at least in their view.

Tommy Lee admits he’s not a political junkie - he says he rarely watches television or listens to news reports. So he had no opinion on the presidential candidates’ environmental policies. In fact, he had no opinions on any of their policies. “Man, tell you the truth, I only listen to music,” he said in front of the entire room and about four cameras. He seemed sincere. I didn’t press him.

Ludacris, however, was very opinionated. He very strongly said to me, “I support Barack Obama.” He is happy with Obama’s environmental policies, and keenly aware of just how much attention this election is garnering from the American people. But when I tried to press him on other issues like race, religion and HIV in the black community, he steered the conversation back to his stance on the environment. He did promise, however, to address those issues with me in another interview at another time. Smooth. Ludacris has come a long way in a short time: from rapper to social activist to environmental cheerleader.

As he and Tommy Lee walked off, entourage and reality TV cameras in tow, I thought to myself: if someone had told me at breakfast that I’d be talking with Tommy Lee and Ludacris later in the day about the environment and politics I would have called them a liar, which just goes to show, you never know. For hanging out just a bit with music superstars, I got mad props from my colleagues here at CNN.


Filed under: Politics
soundoff (96 Responses)
  1. jason

    bush was basically re-elected because of the manufactured 'threat' of gay marraige, yet california removed the ban anyway – so a lot of 'good' he put into keeping it illegal, right?

    the environment is a non-issue, that none of the three candidates will likely even put to a vote. yes, it actually is an issue, but it's such a minority of people who actually care about it.

    Just like everything else in this country: it won't become a big issue until fixing it becomes profitable for the majority of the companies that the lobbyists represent.

    May 16, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  2. Bukky- Balt

    Attorney Douglas Palaschak May 16th, 2008 4:15 pm ET

    Ludaris and Tommy Lee should refrain from political comment until they each finish high school.

    If the people of W.VA are allowed to vote... and i think these two can speak

    May 16, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  3. Sam

    I thought ALL the Obama supporters were so highly educated. How did this one slip through?

    May 16, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  4. noemi in los angeles

    Pat Riot: you are an idiot for making those comments.

    All college educated voters are supporting Obama, if you haven't been keeping up with the stories.

    I am a Democrat.
    I am a woman.
    I am college-educated.
    I HAVE read our constitution.
    I have read Obama's policies.
    I have read McCains policies.
    I have read Clinton's policies.
    I have read the policies of all the dropped out candidates.

    I am a Barack Obama supporter.
    I will be voting Democratic whether Clinton, Obama, Both or neither are on the ticket.

    Democrats 08.

    May 16, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  5. Obama Supporter 08/2012

    Leon – what's funny about you is that you're a HILLARY SUPPORT AGAINST OBAMA.....rather than just a Hillary Supporter. You don't have to hate Obama in order to support Hillary. Did you know that? You Hillary supporter's are all alike in that you aren't necessarily voting for Hillary as much as you're voting AGAINST a black man. Why? Because the majority of you are bigots. So sad. This racist bs is so freaking old and tired. Get over it! Get over yourself!

    May 16, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  6. Dan in Chicago

    I never would've guessed that Ludacris supported Obama.

    May 16, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  7. New Sensation

    to Leon, empty weak threats, from weak minded people. You are obviously a republican and enjoy playing their weak-minded childish games. The presidency is already decided, Hillary lost, and McCain will fall like a barrel of bricks. The convention will be a formality or ceremony, but the decision is already made. Or haven't you noticed the Gi-normous lead Obama has right now.

    May 16, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  8. patrick b

    Dropouts typically support Hillary. At least this one has a brain.

    May 16, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  9. Terry in Fl

    Typical. Of course the black rapper is going to support Obama and take the opportunity to share that opinion in the media. I mean, we want all those rapping youth to vote don't we?

    May 16, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  10. noemi in los angeles

    leon: you are an idiot as well. people who would rather destroy are party than vote for obama, are just not democrats and should not vote in our primaries.

    i think this leon guy is another operation chaos member in disguise, doing whatever it takes to get mccrazy in the white house.

    don't listen to this garbage!!!

    democrats unite!!

    May 16, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  11. LT for Obama

    "most high school dropouts seem to..."

    Wow, are you confusing him with Hillary supporters? All the "polls" and even the candidate herself said that she has the under educated vote.

    So because Luda supports Obama, it means it is because he is black? Are you kidding me? There are so many blacks that are stunch supporters of Hillary's so that argument does not stand up so stop making the insinuations.

    It seems to me that Hillary supporters are so quick to cry foul when they see insulting posts by Obama supporters but then hypocrisy just hits that fan as they spew their hate filled posts.

    May 16, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  12. gary

    TALKING ABOUT A CANIDATE STEALING THE NOMINATION..THIS RACE HAS BEEN FIXED FROM THE BEGINING.THIS COUNTRY IS JUST BIAS AGAINST A WOMAN PRESIDENT AND AFRAID OF A BLACK MAN. OBAMA 'S SUPPORTERS ARE NOTHING BUT HATE. THEY TRASH THE CLINTONS THROUGH THIS WHOLE RACE ALONG WITH THE MEDIA AND THEIR CANIDATE,THAN THEY WANT US CLINTON SUPPORTERS TO KISS -. AND VOTE FOR HIM. IT WILL BE A COLD DAY IN HELL THAT I VOTE FOR THE FALLING OF OUR COUNTRY.THEY CALL US CLINON SUPPORTERS UNEDUCATED AND STUPID. WE DONT VOTE FOR A CANIDATE THATS UNKNOWN,UNQUALIFIED AND NO TRACK RECORD. IF YOU ASK ME YOU O.B. SUPPORTERS ARE STUPID. WE SEEN ENOUGH OF O.B.'S CHANGES THROUGH HIS SUPPORTERS,HATE,BIAS, DIVISION AND RACIST. AMERICA DESERVES WHAT THEY GET IF O.B. GETS ELECTED. LETS SEE IF O.B. CAN SMOOTH TALK THE ENEMY . GOD HELP US ALL.

    May 16, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  13. Charlotte

    I am forced to blog off topic because CNN closes a topic so fast or the Obama-bots have their fingers on a hair keyboad just wating for every topic. They must not work or have computer type jobs that they are not doing. Anyway, why is anything that is said about Obama is considered shameful? Obama can only cry so many times before he looks really pathetic. Why is he suddenly wearing a flag pen? He wouldn’t be pandering, now would he?

    May 16, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  14. Obama Supporter 08/2012

    For the record – I'm against ENTITLEMENT!!! Hillary isn't OWED this race because she's white, bill's wife, or a woman. It's crazy how the people of this country that aren't entitled to ANYTHING because they've already raped, pillaged and destroyed everything they’ve ever touched are they main ones who feel like the world owes them EVERYTHING.

    May 16, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  15. Nunya

    "Probably because they've never read the constitution."

    Others have pointed out already that the lesser educated tend to favor Hillary over Obama.

    I will point out additionally that Obama himself is a constitutional law professor...

    May 16, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  16. silence do good

    "But when I tried to press him on other issues like race, religion and HIV in the black community, he steered the conversation......"

    Unfortunately, Obama won't have it so easy and all the old friends and organizations that are racist and antisemitic will come back to haunt him. How could the DNC put up such an easy target for the neocons?

    Time for a new liberal party.

    May 16, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  17. silence do good

    "But when I tried to press him on other issues like race, religion and HIV in the black community, he steered the conversation......"

    Unfortunately, Obama won't have it so easy and all the old friends and organizations that are racist and antisemitic will come back to haunt him. How could the DNC put up such an easy target for the neocons?

    Time for a new liberal party.

    May 16, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  18. Linda

    Can't judge a book by its cover. People are educating themselves about the issues. The election is too important not to and anyone that doesn't, well let's just leave it at that.

    May 16, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  19. Bukky- Balt

    Ummm how come Tommy Lee is the one that know NOTHING about politics but Ludacris is the one automatically branded a HS dropout.

    Luda went to college, but tommy lee DID NOT. Does this say anything about "misconceptions" that some people have?

    May 16, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  20. Tateramn

    Here is the Urban Dictionary entry for "wait for it:"

    What idiots insert in the middle of a sentence to create a state of suspense, usually with a sarcastic overtone.

    I won’t use “wait for it” in a sentence, because that would qualify me as an idiot, per above definition.

    May 16, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  21. California Girl

    Everyone in my family will be writing in Hillary's name on the ballot. We will never vote for Obama.

    And, we all have college degrees. So there!!!

    Hillary the only one for the White House.

    May 16, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  22. rk

    One can say that experience trumps, when it comes to national security. but by looking at what this administration as gotten us into, I can't say too much about experience at this point. Bush and McCain are supposed to be most experienced, however, ironically, we are
    in one of most worst economical and foreign policy nightmares in history. So much for experience. Maybe it takes more than experience like....... COMMON SENSE.

    May 16, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  23. Buyer

    I'm going to see them and their camera entourage next Thursday in Los Angeles. Now I know to bring my Hillary sign.

    May 16, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  24. charles

    Sam and Riot and whoever else decides to say something about these two, read the post again first, then read the bio for Ludacris. Only Luda stated anything about Obama and being a supporter of him. And Ludaris finished college and was not some thug that got a record contract out of no where. If you lived in Atlanta you'd know he worked as a radio personality for years before breaking in to his own music. I swear, a lot of ya'll just find any reason at all to criticize any person that supports Obama. You don't see people calling popular Hillary supporters names. Oh yeah, she barely has any (that was a low blow but it's time ya'll came around and stopped fighting the fact that your candidate lost).

    May 16, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  25. Tiffany

    Okay, while I agree that this isn't the most newsworthy article, I have to disagree with a theme that I see here. I'm not sure about Tommy Lee, but Ludacris graduated from high school and attended Georgia State University where he studied music management and interned as a DJ.

    I know Mike G listed some of his bio, but I had to reiterate it.

    May 16, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
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