Van Jones weighs in on President Trump's State of the Union speech and the ramifications it has for the 2020 presidential election. Jones said Trump is creating a trade-off between Latinos and African-Americans by speaking up on immigration enforcement and promising opportunity to black children.
Jones also warned the Democratic party to wake up, that Trump's State of the Union address was a warning shot that he is going after the black vote. Jones said Democrats need to get "clinical" and less emotional about a possible "split off" in that black vote.
"That was a warning to us. That was a warning shot across the bow to us Democrats that he's going after enough black votes to cause us problems. It's not just suburban votes, he's going after black votes," Jones said.
VAN JONES: I think the last 24 hours have been a big wake up call for Democrats. That's what I think. The Iowa caucus was a debacle. And this was a very strong speech. And it shows what he thinks he needs to do to win. I think I should be very clinical about this. You're exactly right. He knows he's got to give a lot of red meat to his base, and he gave it. Religious liberty, abortion, all of it, the military, et cetera.
But he's doing something else. And it has to do with how he's going to manage race in this thing and there seems to be a tradeoff between the Latinos and the African-Americans, that's what you see. he went hard on the sanctuary city stuff. That is very, very disturbing. It turns out sanctuary cities are safer than non-sanctuary cities. The Cato Institute, which is libertarian, have come out and said immigrants are committing less crime. So, for some reason he thinks that doubling down on the anti-immigrant piece is a big part of this thing.
At the same time, warning the Democrats. What he was saying to African-Americans can be effective. You may not like it but he mentioned HBCUs, 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 criminal justice reform. He talked about opportunity zones...
The thing about it is, and we've got to wake up, folks, there's a whole bubble thing that goes on, he said s-hole nations, therefore all black people are going to hate him forever. That ain't necessarily so. I think what you're going to see him do, you may not like my rhetoric, but look at my results and my record to black people, if he narrow casts that, it's going to be effective. Which means, as we move through this primary process, we've got to pay a lot more attention both to what's going on with the Latino vote. Are we going to get a benefit in terms of having them respond and with the black vote. It it going to be a split off, especially for black male voters? We've got to be clinical about this stuff. We get so emotional about it. That was a warning to us. That was a warning shot across the bow to us Democrats that he's going after enough black votes to cause us problems. It's not just suburban votes, he's going after black votes.