Van Jones compares Biden to Reagan, calling out ‘foggy, meandering’ press conference

Jones was responding to CNN's Erin Burnett, who noted the president was "very clear" in supporting Kamala Harris.

Media pundit Van Jones compared Wednesday’s press conference by President Joe Biden to the waning years of the presidency of Ronald Reagan, calling Biden’s speech “foggy” and “meandering.” 

Jones was replying to CNN’s Erin Burnett, who had played a clip from the president’s lengthy press conference earlier that day. Biden was expressing whether or not he was pleased with Vice President Kamala Harris‘ work to help pass voting rights legislation and committed to having her remain his running mate should he choose to run for re-election in 2024. 

Media pundit Van Jones compared Wednesday’s press conference by President Joe Biden to the waning years of the presidency of Ronald Reagan. (Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

Biden answered: “Yes and yes.” 

In throwing to Jones — who was offering his opinions aside CNN correspondent Abby Phillips — Burnett noted the president’s response was “very clear.” 

“I think a lot of Democratic voters appreciate that,” Jones said. “That’s the one time that you don’t want to give any fuzzy, foggy, let-me-tell-you-a-long-story, answer. Clear and direct, they are a team. He is staying together. They are going to fight it forward. Look, I think that part of the reason that answer stood out so much is because some of the other answers were kind of foggy and meandering. I think you have to be honest that you can be a foggy, meandering president. Say, like Reagan near the end, if you’re winning.” 

“But if you are foggy and meandering on key questions and you’re also not winning, then you’ve got a real problem,” Jones maintained, “and so I think the real challenge that you have is the numbers are out there that are bad. But this party has got to come together, and start putting some wins on the board for this president.” 

It has long been speculated that former President Reagan suffered from the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease while still in office in the 1980s. The 40th president died June 5, 2004 from complications of the illness. 

Viewers shared their respective criticism of Jones’ observations on social media, with many questioning his motivations. “@VanJones68 still pissed he got left out Of #46 #Team,” contended retired U.S. Army General and author Russel L. Honore on Twitter.

“He is always throwing Shade at the WH,” Honore said of Jones, calling him “no longer a News Maker but just another Critic!”

Another tweeted: “Does CNN think having Van Jones and Abby on is representative of what black voters think?”

”Biden was being Biden. He was not foggy,” author Charlene Ligon wrote on Twitter. “Why are you repeating the Republican talking points?”

In November 2021, CNN’s Sanjay Gupta said that he read Biden’s annual health report and that while his neurological health was tested, he was not tested on his cognitive abilities, which measure mental acuity. 

“It doesn’t seem like it,” Gupta said, per Newsweek. “I read pretty carefully through the doctor’s report, and they mention neurological exam, but that was more in terms of testing motor strength and sensation and things like that.”

“As far as we know, for President Biden, we didn’t see any kind of test like that performed.” 

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