While most of the Democratic Party stands in unison against President Donald Trump, one liberal lawmaker just flipped sides in a big way.
A Democratic state lawmaker from Georgia endorsed Trump’s re-election bid on Tuesday but stressed that he is not planning to change political parties.
Democratic State Rep. Vernon Jones said he was endorsing the president because of his record on helping black people, military veterans, and farmers with his policies.
“It’s very simple to me. President Trump’s handling of the economy, his support for historically black colleges, and his criminal justice initiatives drew me to endorse his campaign,” Jones told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“This is not about switching parties. There are a lot of African Americans who clearly see and appreciate he’s doing something that’s never been done before,” he added. “When you look at the unemployment rates among black Americans before the pandemic, they were at historic lows. That’s just a fact.”
Democratic Georgia Rep. Vernon Jones endorses Trump for reelection State Rep. Vernon Jones told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he’s backing Trump, in part, due to the president’s handling of the economy and criminal justice reforms. https://t.co/yZITk03Dtx #USRC pic.twitter.com/avs5dzX5al
— Top U.S. & World News🗽 (@USRealityCheck) April 15, 2020
Jones did have anything negative to say about presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, but he did have some harsh comments for his party after Super Tuesday helped Biden and seemed to harm socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
“Some in the party would say they stole it from Bernie last election, and now, they’re wanting to change the rules to hurt him this time,” Jones explained at the time. “What makes the party more intelligent and able to pick the presidential nominee than the people? My powder’s dry. I’m not endorsing. But I am frustrated with the process.”
It also did not take long for his fellow Democrats to attack him for endorsing Trump.
The chairwoman of the state’s Democratic Party, State Sen. Nikema Williams, called Jones an “embarrassment” whose views don’t align with Georgia values, the report said.
“Never has that been clearer than this moment, when he chose to stand with the racist president who has made an all-out assault on black Americans, who has tried to rip away American health care and who has failed our country in its greatest time of need,” she said.
State Republicans, of course, celebrated the across-the-aisle support.
The Gwinnett County Republican Party shared Jones’ endorsement on their Facebook page, attaching the news to a fundraising plea.
“Rep. Jones may not be a Republican, but he clearly understands that we need President Trump in office for another 4 years,” they wrote.
Brandon Phillips, a Republican operative who was chairman of Trump’s campaign in Georgia in 2016, said Jones has been chewing over the decision for years.
“Vernon has been a Trump fan for a while,” Phillips said. “Glad to see him putting Georgia first over party.”
The endorsement comes as the Trump campaign had a massive fundraising haul.
In the first quarter of this year, the Trump campaign raised an eye-popping $212 million, extending an already massive lead over former Vice President Joe Biden, who all-but will be the Democratic nominee and face off against Trump in the general election.
Trump’s re-election campaign and the Republican National Committee announced their fundraising haul of the first three months of the year on Monday.
Between them, the groups and their shared committees have $240 million in cash on hand.
“Trump and the R.N.C. are on track to have $400 million cash on hand by July 4, an incredibly strong financial position in this political environment,” Chamber of Commerce senior political strategist Scott W. Reed said.
“Americans can see President Trump leading this nation through a serious crisis and they are responding with their continued enthusiastic support for his re-election,” Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale said. “Joe Biden, Democrats, and the media continue to oppose his every action, but the people know that President Trump is fighting for them so they are fighting for him as well.”