Van Jones Applauds Trump and Conservatives for Being ‘Leaders’ on Criminal Justice Reform

Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, DC on Thursday, CNN host Van Jones said that it is the conservative movement who are now the “leaders” on criminal justice reform.

Joined by CPAC Chairman Matt Schlapp, Jones discussed the important criminal justice reform effort, the First Step Act, which is designed to help reduce incarceration rates and allow for earlier releases for non-violent criminals.

Conservatives Lead

“Here’s the deal — the conservative movement in this country… is now the leader on this issue of [criminal justice] reform…” Jones said. “Take some dadgum credit for being smart. Take some dadgum credit for getting it right.”

“You look at Mississippi, a rock-ribbed, total conservative former jailer is now the governor. Governor Bryan cut the prison population and crime at the same time. [Governor Nathan] Deal in Georgia cut the prison population and crime at the same time. . . . What you’re seeing now is Republican governors being tough on the dollars. Tough on crime and shrinking the prison population.”

Jones is a Democrat who worked with Jared Kushner and others within the Trump administration to get support for the legislation. Many progressive lawmakers were hesitant to support the legislation because they felt it didn’t go far enough, but Jones worked to show them how significant the changes would be.

Jones Doesn’t Care About Critics

Jones also had some words for his liberal critics who don’t like him working with Trump on this issue.

“If you’re on Twitter calling me a sellout for working with Trump on criminal justice reform, here’s what I know about you,” Jones said Thursday. “If you’re on Twitter, you’re not in a federal prison because they don’t have Twitter in federal prison. I don’t have to listen to you.”

“I care about the people who are locked up,” Jones said.

Working Together

Jones praised conservatives for their efforts on this front. “I now have a conservative movement that, for libertarian reasons, for Christian conservative reasons, and for fiscally conservative reasons, is actually doing a great job on what should be my issue,” he said.

“This is no longer a liberal cause. It’s a bipartisan cause in part led by conservatives,” Jones said.

“This is supposed to be my issue! You are stealing my issue!” he added, with the crowd laughing and applauding.

It’s good to see an outspoken liberal like Van Jones applaud the president and conservative Republicans for getting something right.

“I’ve never seen a bird fly with only a left wing. We need each other,” Jones said. If more on the left would try to work with Republicans instead of constantly hating Trump, can you imagine the kind of good we could do for this country?

is a professional writer and editor with over 15 years of experience in conservative media and Republican politics. He... More about John Hanson

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