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Van Jones on Democratic Party’s Future: ‘The Clinton Days Are Over … You Can’t Run and Hide’

During a panel discussion about the future of the Democratic Party on CNN’s State of the Union this morning, political commentator and former Obama adviser Van Jones made the case that the party should be pressing in a more progressive direction rather than move towards the middle.

After former Democratic Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer blamed Democrat support for trade deals and Obamacare eroding support in the heartland and ex-Clinton aide Karen Finney said there was a need to build grassroots organizing in red states, Jones explained that there were some budding stars in the party.

Naming Kamala Harris and Keith Ellison, the CNN commentator then stated that Hillary and Bill Clinon’s influence on the party was done.

“The Clinton days are over,” Jones noted. “This idea that we’re going to be this moderate party that’s going to move in this direction, that’s going to throw blacks under the bus for criminal justice reform and — or for — for prison expansion, that’s going to throw workers under the bus for NAFTA, those days are over.”

He continued, “You can’t run and hide. You’ve got to be an authentic person from the beginning. You’re going to be judged based on your authentic commitment to the actual base of this party. And if you don’t do that, you can’t win.”

Schweitzer hit back at that description, stating that he wants a Democratic candidate who is “the smartest person in the room, but I don’t want them talking like they’re the smartest person in the room.”

Watch the exchange above, via CNN.

[image via screengrab]

Follow Justin Baragona on Twitter: @justinbaragona

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