CNN’s Van Jones on Monday night called upon Republicans to denounce President Donald Trump’s racist rhetoric on the suburbs.
Jones said, “every Republican I’m going to call to denounce this move trying to scare white people saying we’ll put people in the suburbs and riot and hurt you.”
“That’s not even a dog whistle, that’s a bull horn,” Jones declared.
“And if you guys want to compete for white women, do it on the basis of some of the great stuff you’ve done, but don’t it based on scaring people about Black folks moving out to the suburbs, that’s wrong and needs to be condemned by every Republican,” he said. “That is literally dividing the country.”
CNN analyst Rick Santorum, a former Republican senator, disagreed.
“Van, look at what’s going on in some of these cities across America. I know you’d love to ignore it and in fact you do and in fact, you called them peaceful protesters, but they are not and what they are arguing for is not peaceful and is not mainstream, it is very much and anarchical or socialist or communist,” Santorum argued.
“Listen, you have a convention right now and you have a chance to have some sway over what is right and what’s wrong and what’s fair and what’s foul,” Jones said. “I’ll tell you this, the way to respond to is not what you saw tonight. You don’t get people who are pulling guns out on unarmed protesters and turn them into national heroes and put in their mouths the language for your party that is 100% divisive.”
At that point, CNN’s Anderson Cooper jumped in.
“Senator, let me ask you, why, when the president says to what he calls suburban housewives, that put low-income housing next to you, why would he say that Cory Booker is going to be in charge of it to run it?” Cooper asked. “Why would the president do that other than a very blatant dog whistle of ‘let me think of a prominent black man I can name who, in his words, suburban housewives might recognize?”
Santorum said he was unable to defend that comment.