CNN contributor Van Jones warned fellow panelists, and Democrats in general, on Tuesday evening that President Donald Trump was helping African-Americans “in real life” and reaching out to them for their vote in 2020.
Jones was reacting to the president’s State of the Union address, in which the president mentioned several efforts to help African-Americans specifically:
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 talked about opportunity zones. He talked about school choice.
The party failed to report results after Monday’s crucial, first-in-the-nation contest, and has still not fully reported results as of Wednesday morning.
Jones added that the State of the Union address came against the backdrop of Democrats’ mishap in the Iowa caucuses the day before.
Jones tweeted video of his comments to the CNN panel, adding: “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.”
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
Jones has clashed with Trump before, though he has supported the administration’s efforts at passing criminal justice reform through the First Step Act.
President Trump honored African-American heroes several times during his speech, notably Tuskegee Airman Charles McGee and Army Veteran Tony Rankins. He also awarded an Opportunity Scholarship to fourth grader Janiyah Davis.
While Jones theorized that Trump was attempting to divide African-Americans and Latinos by focusing on border enforcement and stopping illegal immigration, there is no evidence that the president is doing so.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.