Following President Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday, left-wing CNN contributor Van Jones issued a “wake up” call to his fellow liberals and Democrats about Trump’s “real life” actions that have positively impacted African Americans across the country.
“WAKE UP, folks,” Jones tweeted along with a clip of his appearance on CNN Tuesday night. “The [Iowa caucus] was a debacle, followed by a strong [State of the Union] speech laying out Trump’s strategy to win – which includes going for Black voters.”
“This was a warning shot from the Trump campaign to liberals, and we need to take this VERY seriously in order to win,” he added.
In his panel discussion with CNN following Trump’s widely praised SOTU address, Jones made some comments about Trump’s policies and outreach to black Americans that Jones indicated he knew might make some of his CNN colleagues uneasy.
“I think the last 24 hours have been a big wake-up call for Democrats,” said Jones. “The Iowa caucus was a debacle, and this [SOTU] was a very strong speech, and it shows what [Trump] thinks he needs to do to win.”
“I think we have to be very clinically about this,” he continued, “…He knows that he’s got to give a lot of red meat to his base, and he gave it — from religious liberty, abortion, all of it, the military, etc. But he’s doing something else, and it has to do with how he is going to manage race in this thing.”
“There seems to be a trade-off between the Latinos and the African Americans, that’s what you see,” said Jones. “He went hard not the sanctuary cities stuff.”
“At the same time — a warning to Democrats — what he was saying to African-Americans can be effective. You may not like it, but he mentioned HBCUs [historically black colleges and universities]. Our black colleges have been struggling for a long time — a bunch of them have gone under. He threw a lifeline to them, in real life, in his budget. He talked about that.”
“He talked about the criminal justice reform,” he continued. “He talked about opportunity zones.”
“He talked about school choice,” Jones added, prompted by another panelist.
“Listen, wake up,” Jones said emphatically, agreeing with other panelists saying that all Trump has to do is slightly move the margins in voting in key states to win.
As Jones concluded his comments, the rest of the panel went notably quiet.
“We got to wake up, folks. There’s a whole bubble thing that goes. We say, well, he said ‘S-hole’ nations, therefore all black people gonna hate him forever. That ain’t necessarily so.”
“And I think what you’re going to see him do is say, ‘You might not like my rhetoric, but look at my results, look at my record,’ to black people. If he narrow-casts that, it’s going to be effective,” said Jones.
Going forward in the primary process, Jones warned, Democrats must keep a sharp eye on both the Latino and African American voters, particularly black males, to see if Trump is successful in causing a “split-off” vote that could push him to victory.
WAKE UP, folks. The #IowaCaucus was a debacle, followed by a strong #SOTU speech laying out Trump's strategy to win – which includes going for Black voters. This was a warning shot from the Trump campaign to liberals, and we need to take this VERY seriously in order to win. @CNN pic.twitter.com/bgBFms9jtN
— Van Jones (@VanJones68) February 5, 2020