Van Jones: Democrats ‘running Kamala Harris for president one way or the other’

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Van Jones: Democrats ‘running Kamala Harris for president one way or the other’

CNN political commentator Van Jones on Sunday suggested Democrats are preparing to run Vice President Harris for president, regardless of President Biden’s official standing in the race.

Jones, speaking on CNN’s “State of The Union,” emphasized the significance of the divide within the Democratic Party following Biden’s lackluster debate performance against former President Trump last month, saying it has turned things “in a negative direction” for the party.

“He’s [Biden] still in the race and he’s doing what he’s supposed to do. I’m glad to see him out there. I’m glad he’s doing interviews. I’m glad he’s doing all those things. The challenge is that the numbers are not encouraging, and the party is no longer united,” Jones said.

“I think people are hoping that [Biden] will recognize we’re running Kamala Harris for president right now. That’s who we’re running,” Jones added later, saying many Democrats “love” Biden but do not think he will be able to defeat Trump in November.

Jones, pointing to the increasing number of House Democrats over the weekend calling on Biden to step aside from the 2024 race, argued the president’s insistence on staying in is preventing Harris from being able to make a viable case to the American people.

“Nobody believes Joe Biden can be president in four years. And so, we’re in the worst possible world because she can’t defend herself, she has to defend him,” Jones said. “We can’t defend her; we have to defend him. We’re basically running Kamala Harris anyway, let’s run Kamala Harris and let her get out there and defend herself.”

“The reality is we are running Kamala Harris for president one way or the other. I’d rather run for president in the strongest way rather than the weakest way,” he added.

Jones has been among the most vocal Democrats pushing for a change following Biden’s debate performance June 27, which Jones called “painful.”

Last week, Jones suggested Democrats, behind closed doors, are discussing “how” to replace Biden at the top of the ticket, “not whether.”

Biden is facing increased pressure from some within his own party to reconsider his reelection run, with at least four senior House Democrats saying Biden should step aside in a private call Sunday. Five other Democratic lawmakers called on him to drop out last week.

Despite the calls, Biden said he has no plans of dropping out of the presidential race, writing on X Friday, “Let me say this as clearly as I can: I’m the sitting President of the United States.  I’m the nominee of the Democratic party. I’m staying in the race.”

The calls have been joined by increasing speculation over whether Harris would be a viable replacement should Biden step aside. She made clear last week she supports Biden’s continued bid for a second term.

A CNN poll published last Tuesday found Harris is polling closer to Trump than Biden is four months out from the election.

Biden again rejected calls to drop out of the race in a letter to congressional Democrats on Monday, urging them to unite behind his candidacy.

“The question of how to move forward has been well-aired for over a week now. And it’s time for it to end,” Biden wrote. “Any weakening of resolve or lack of clarity about the task ahead only helps Trump and hurts us. It is time to come together.”