CNN’s Van Jones warned Democrats against “crowing” over Sen. Bernie Sanders losing at the polls.
Jones urged Democrats during a CNN panel discussion to reach out to voters who supported Sanders if former Vice President Joe Biden ends up landing the party’s 2020 nomination.
“This is a very dangerous moment now in the Democratic Party,” he said on CNN Tuesday as Biden’s victory in Michigan inched him closer to becoming the presumed nominee.
“You have now an insurgency that’s about to be defeated. What do you do with the people that you defeat?” Jones asked.
“There was a hope on the part of a lot of young people they had a champion. You got young people who are graduating with a quarter-million dollars in debt, you’ve got young people with a lot of pain, and they had a champion. And they thought they were going to be able to surround the divided establishment with their movement, crush that divided establishment, and move forward,” he continued.
“Instead, the establishment united and stopped them. Now, what do you do?” Jones wondered.
“Last time Bernie Sanders got beaten, there was an assumption that all his people were going to fall in line and vote against Trump and there was not enough care for the concern and the pain of his base,” he recounted.
“I think tonight, there’s going to be a lot of crowing, a lot of relief on the part of the establishment, but keep it temperate and turn, turn to those people and say we want to be your champion,” Jones urged.
“If you don’t do that, you’re going to have a pyrrhic victory,” he added.
Former 2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang agreed.
“Biden should pivot to the general and reach out to young people, in particular, who supported Bernie and let them know, ‘I’m going to be your candidate,'” he said.
“Joe has not done an excellent job of making it seem like he relates to young people in those situations. So he or his surrogates have to make that case, very, very quickly that he’s going to be their candidate,” Yang added.
Jones had also contended that many voters “don’t see the passion yet from Joe Biden for their pain.”
“I think his main appeal, Biden, is that he wants to bring the country together and heal it. When I have a pandemic going on, somebody who is a healer has a lot of appeal,” he said.
There are “a lot of people whose hopes have been crushed tonight,” says @VanJones68 of Joe Biden’s projected victories. “…They are people who don’t know how they are going to make it … and they don’t see the passion yet from Joe Biden for their pain.” https://t.co/Ost27Ec4Dp pic.twitter.com/p5pr3D4Yid
— CNN (@CNN) March 11, 2020
“But the first thing you have to do is bring this party together. You want to bring America together, the first test is can you bring the party together?” Jones continued.
“As happy as a lot of people are tonight, there are a lot of people whose hopes have been crushed tonight. I don’t think a lot of people get it. There are people who don’t know how they’re going to make it,” he added, pointing to the coronavirus outbreak as he said the “whole pandemic is throwing them completely out of work.”
“They can’t go from point A to point B,” he said.
“And they don’t see the passion yet from Joe Biden for their pain. They don’t trust him yet to fight until the last dog bites for them. And they trust Bernie Sanders to do it,” Jones contended. “If Bernie is going to be ushered off the stage tonight and Biden is going to stand up there, he has to pull the people close to him. And the empathy he has for everybody else, he’s gotta have for these Bernie kids.”
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