Americans on the political left are no longer “in love” with President Barack Obama, says former Obama administration “green jobs czar” Van Jones.
Jones made the comments Saturday during his keynote speech at the liberal Netroots Nation 2012 Conference in Providence, R.I.
“We know we’re supposed to be fired up, and we know we’re supposed to be ready to go, but we’re pissed off!” he exclaimed. “We’re in a quandary. We like this president, but we’re not in love with him like we used to be.”
“We like him. You know, he stands up for Trayvon [Martin] and he stands up for gay marriage. We like him, but we’re not in love with him,” Jones continued.
“We went from having a crush to feeling crushed. … And so it’s hard to get fired up and ready to go. Somebody said ‘I feel like I’m caught between Barack and a hard place.'”
Jones also warned the crowd that if they didn’t like the June 5 Wisconsin recall election that kept Republican Gov. Scott Walker in office, they’d better work to make sure the November presidential election doesn’t turn out the same way.
“And if we didn’t like the way we felt waking up in June with that outcome in that one state, then it gives us a sense of how we might feel in November if we let the same thing go down in the swing states,” said Jones.
Jones has been openly critical of the president since leaving the administration.
In his speech Saturday, which received a rousing standing ovation, Jones also outlined the need for “a president who is willing to be moved and a movement who is willing to do the moving” in order “to get real change.” But he told the audience they should consider the ramifications of a tea party November victory and the candidates who would take office.
Jones said the tea party has “a wrecking ball agenda” and would use its power to “decimate” progressives if its candidates gained control of both chambers of Congress and the White House.
“I respect them,” Jones said of the tea party. “They’re Americans, but I want to beat ’em.”