Van Jones: Obama Should Go On A "Poverty Tour" Before Paid Speeches


On Sunday's edition of CNN's State Of The Union, network contributor Van Jones said former President Obama should go on a "poverty tour" before he goes on the speech circuit. The former president is scheduled to receive $400,000 to deliver a speech to Wall Street firm Cantor-Fitzgerald.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN: A bit of controversy broke out this week on the Democratic side. We learned that President Obama has agreed to accept $400,000 -- that's one year's worth of presidential salary -- to speak in September at a Wall Street conference. Senator Elizabeth Warren said she was troubled by it and Bernie Sanders also did. Take a listen.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: I think it just does not look good. It's not a good idea. And, you know, I'm sorry that President Obama made that choice. He's a private citizen. I just think it is distasteful.


TAPPER: Is it distasteful to you?

VAN JONES: It's not distasteful. You think that he started off talking to those kids in Chicago and we need a Bobby Kennedy in this country and I hope that he will do a tour, go to Apalachicola, go to Native American reservations where they are shoving these pipelines down their throats and they don't have a clean running water. Go to south central. Go to the Arizona border where you have a lot of poverty.

If he would do a poverty tour first -- listen, he should not be the first president that has to be broke. Listen, every other president went out there and gave big speeches. Don't hold him to a double standard -- don't double standard him. But I'd tell you what, from a moral point of view it would be great for him to do a --

TAPPER: There's a $60 million book deal. I mean, he's not broke.

JONES: Exactly.

TAPPER: But -- no but I mean, like --

JONES: Listen -- listen --

TAPPER: You don't think he was elected to a degree to fight the forces on Wall Street?

JONES: Sure. And he's done with that.

Clearly if I were -- if I were -- if I had the opportunity he has I would do a big poverty tour for six months. Everywhere I go it's poverty, addiction and high death rates from West Virginia to south central. If he would do that, then go ahead and do a big speech later.

(via Breitbart Video)

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