State Rep. Vernon Jones, an African-American lawmaker from Georgia, told the “Todd Starnes Radio Show” Monday that it is a “no-brainer” to support President Trump in 2020 because he did more for his community than Joe Biden did for decades in office.
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Jones, a lifelong Democrat, has faced backlash since announcing his endorsement last week.
Bill Torpy, a columnist at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, wrote a piece on published Monday titled, “Crazy? Genius? Democrat Vernon Jones’ Right-Wing Exit Strategy.”
Torpy tried to grasp why Jones would make the decision to come out for Trump in a district where Hillary Clinton won 74 percent of the vote.
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“Jones is an ambitious pol who once had a future, but it has been squandered in controversy, race-baiting, allegations of corruption and just general unpleasantness,” Torpy wrote. He continued, “So why not try something new? Hence, the endorsement.”
State Sen. Nikema Williams, chairwoman of the state Democratic Party, issued a statement calling Jones an “embarrassment,” and said he “does not stand for our values.”
Jones, who has supported Republicans in the past, said much of the criticism comes from fellow Democrats who can’t seem to grasp that conservative black men in the party exist.
He told Todd Starnes, the radio show’s host, that the Democrat Party has a big tent when it comes to gender and race, but he said what there seems to be little room for is an “independent and conservative black man like me and others.”
“We’re supposed to have our agenda just completely left to the side,” he said. He said he disagrees with the party’s move to the left on immigration. He said while he believes in legal immigration, he does not believe taking resources from Americans and giving them to illegal immigrants.
“When Trump talks about putting America first, I understand that and I agree with that because America has not been put first,” he said. Jones said all Americans have benefited under Trump.
Jones said one word can describe Trump’s first term: results.
Trump has helped every community, Jones said. But particularly in the African American community in his lifetime. Jones compared Trump with Biden, who wrote the controversial 1994 crime bill that was passed by then-President Bill Clinton.
Jones said the Biden bill “wiped out” a whole generation of African Americans.
Jones pointed out the work Trump’s one on criminal justice reform and his effort to restore funding for historically black colleges.
“I had to put my country before my party,” he said.