Newly-minted Alabama Sen. Doug Jones — the Democrat who defeated Roy Moore last week to win the seat vacated when Jeff Sessions became Attorney General — isn’t even seated yet and he’s already doling out advice to his Congressional colleagues.
Take it easy on Trump.
On CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday morning, Doug Jones was asked what he thought about the sexual harassment allegations leveled at Donald Trump before the election, which appeared again last week in an apparent effort to tie the president in to the “#MeToo movement.
Jones was clear: Democrats aren’t going to win that battle and need to move on.
Sen.-elect Doug Jones of Alabama doesn’t join the several Senate Democrats calling for President Trump to step down: “I think we need to move on and not get distracted by those issues … I don’t think the President ought to resign right now” #CNNSOTU https://t.co/EAY9mhL1QI
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) December 17, 2017
Jones broke with more vocal Democrats, like Sens. Cory Booker (NJ) and Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), both seen as front-runners to challenge Trump in 2020, who have been calling on the president to have a “zero tolerance” approach sexual harassment, and step down in the wake of resurfaced allegations. Booker appeared to drop his demand, but Gillibrand drew the president into a prolonged Twitter battle.
Instead, Jones told host Jake Tapper that Democrats “need to move on and not get distracted by those issues.”
“Those allegations were made before the election, and so people had an opportunity to judge before that election,” he said. “I think we need to move on and not get distracted by those issues. Let’s get on with the real issues that are facing people of this country right now, and I don’t think that the president ought to resign at this point. We’ll see how things go. But certainly those allegations are not new, and he was elected with those allegations front and center.”
Democrats might do well to listen to their most recently elected colleague: he’s from a state that voted heavily for Trump in the 2016 elections, but managed to defeat Moore, a sweetheart candidate of Trump’s former Chief of Staff, Steve Bannon. He may have his ear closer to the ground of “real America” than senators from New York and New Jersey.