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Van Jones: Democratic Party ‘Running Kamala Harris for President One Way or the Other’

By Jake Beardslee · July 8, 2024

On Sunday, Van Jones, a political commentator for CNN, implied that the Democratic Party is positioning Vice President Harris for a presidential run, despite President Biden's current status as the official candidate.  Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America / Wikimedia

Speaking on CNN's "State of The Union," Jones highlighted the growing divide within the Democratic Party following Biden's recent debate performance against former President Trump. He noted, "The challenge is that the numbers are not encouraging, and the party is no longer united."  Jack Gruber / USA TODAY NETWORK

Jones went on to assert, "I think people are hoping that [Biden] will recognize we're running Kamala Harris for president right now. That's who we're running." He argued that many Democrats, while fond of Biden, doubt his ability to defeat Trump in November.  Jovanny Hernandez / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK / USA TODAY NETWORK

The commentator pointed out the increasing calls from House Democrats for Biden to step aside, suggesting that the President's persistence is hindering Harris's ability to make her case to the American people. "Nobody believes Joe Biden can be president in four years," Jones stated, adding, "We're basically running Kamala Harris anyway, let's run Kamala Harris and let her get out there and defend herself."  Max Correa / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

“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,” Jones stated.  U.S. Space Force photo by Staff Sgt. Natalie Rubenak / Wikimedia

This sentiment echoes Jones's previous comments following Biden's June 27 debate performance, which he described as "painful." He has since suggested that Democrats are privately discussing how to replace Biden at the top of the ticket.  Jack Gruber, Jack Gruber / USA TODAY NETWORK

Despite mounting pressure, Biden has firmly stated his intention to remain in the race. On the social platform X, he wrote, "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."  @JoeBiden / X

Vice President Harris has also expressed her support for Biden's continued candidacy. However, a recent CNN poll indicates that Harris is polling closer to Trump than Biden is, four months ahead of the election.  Vanessa Abbitt/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

Based on the poll results, there appears to be significant concern among voters about both major party candidates for the 2024 presidential election. For Joe Biden, a striking 75% of registered voters believe Democrats have a better chance of winning with someone else as the nominee. Even among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, 56% prefer a different candidate.  Max Correa / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

Biden's age and perceived mental acuity seem to be major factors, with 72% of voters seeing his "level of physical and mental ability" as a reason to vote against him.  Max Correa / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

On the Republican side, while Donald Trump fares better in the poll with his base (83% of Republicans/Republican-leaning independents believe he gives them the best chance to win), he faces challenges with the broader electorate. 71% of voters don't believe Trump will accept the results and concede if he loses the election. Additionally, Trump's claims about winning the 2020 election are seen as a reason to vote against him by 49% of voters.  Jack Gruber/USA TODAY / USA TODAY NETWORK

In response to the growing speculation, Biden sent a letter to congressional Democrats on Monday, urging unity behind his candidacy. He wrote, "The question of how to move forward has been well-aired for over a week now. And it's time for it to end. Any weakening of resolve or lack of clarity about the task ahead only helps Trump and hurts us. It is time to come together."  Max Correa / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK