- CNN political commentator Van Jones on Saturday had an emotional, on-air response upon hearing the news of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump.
- “It’s easier to be a parent this morning,” Jones said. “It’s easier to be a dad. It’s easier to tell your kids character matters.”
- Earlier in Trump’s term, Jones worked with the White House to enact criminal justice reform.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
CNN political commentator Van Jones on Saturday had an emotionally powerful response upon hearing the news of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump.
Jones, a longtime presence on the network and a lawyer who worked with the Trump White House to develop criminal justice reform measures, frequently stresses the need to listen to others with differing viewpoints. In a rare moment of vulnerability on cable television, Jones tearfully discussed how the impending end of the Trump presidency would heal so many people who were hurt by his rhetoric and policies.
“It’s easier to be a parent this morning,” he said. “It’s easier to be a dad. It’s easier to tell your kids character matters. It matters. Telling the truth matters. Being a good person matters. And it’s easier for a whole lot of people. If you’re Muslim in this country, you don’t have to worry if the president doesn’t want you here. If you’re an immigrant, you don’t have to worry if the president is going to be happy to have babies snatched away or send Dreamers back for no reason.”
Jones then invoked George Floyd, who was killed by police officers in Minneapolis this past May, in explaining how many Americans have felt overwhelmed by the president’s often incendiary rhetoric and are relieved by his electoral loss.
“I can’t breathe?,” he said. “That wasn’t just George Floyd. That was a lot of people who felt they couldn’t breathe. Every day, you’re waking up you’re getting these tweets and you don’t know. And you’re going to the store and people who have been afraid to show their racism have been getting nastier and nastier to you … This is a big deal for us just to be able to get some peace and to have a chance for a reset.”
For many voters, the president’s personal conduct was also on the ballot. In his on-air revelation, Jones articulated why he felt that Trump’s loss was important for his children to witness.
“The character of the country matters,” he added. “Being a good man matters. I just want my sons to look at this. It’s easy to do it the cheap way and get away with stuff, but it comes back around … I’m sorry for the people who lost. For them it’s not a good day. But for a whole lot of people, it’s a good day.”