‘But–’: CNN Host Cuts Off Van Jones, Fact-Checks Him On Biden’s Policy Hurting UAW Workers

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Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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CNN’s Poppy Harlow cut off CNN analyst and former Obama advisor Van Jones on Tuesday to fact-check him after he claimed President Joe Biden’s policies help the United Auto Workers (UAW) who are on strike.

UAW leadership has raised concerns about how long-term increases in electric vehicle production will hurt their workers, putting out a statement opposing the “Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act” which would “amend the Clean Air Act to prevent the elimination of the sale of internal combustion engine vehicles.”

The UAW said it “opposes the bill because union workers are not political pawns for the culture war.” (RELATED: ‘Abandoned By The Democratic Party’: Auto Workers Turning On ‘Union Joe’ As Major Strike Looms)

During a “CNN This Morning” panel discussing former President Donald Trump’s decision to skip the second GOP debate and instead visit Detroit, Jones argued that Biden has better policies for union members.

“It’s a big tug of war. Union Joe versus the blue collar billionaire. There’s this demographic which for a long time was presumably blue. Blue collar, blue voters. That was presumptive. Then in 2016, that blue wall cracked. It cracked because of Donald Trump’s appeal on NAFTA and that stuff. Suddenly it’s a jump ball. And this year is maybe the biggest labor upsurge in a generation, with 300,000 plus American workers on strike right now from Hollywood workers to people on the front lines in the auto industry and labor matters. Unions matter and they are a jump ball,” Jones said.

“So you see Donald Trump reaching in there and trying to grab at the heartstrings of those workers. Now the reality is none of his policies are going to be great for those workers. Joe Biden has policies that would be fantastic for those workers–”


“But–” Harlow tried to interject.

“–right now it’s about the optics,” Jones finished.

“But not all of them. I mean, this is– you brought this up with the acting labor secretary Julie Su that was so interesting and that is the issue of the Biden push for electric vehicles. This internal memo from May from the UAW reads ‘the federal government is pouring billions into the electric vehicle transition with no strings attached, no commitment to workers. We want to see national leadership have our back on this before we make any commitments.’ And that is what Republican politicians are capitalizing on. Saying they’re putting the green economy ahead of you.”

Writer Josh Barro chimed in, saying Trump has the “opportunity to capitalize” on UAW workers concerned about more money going into building the infrastructure to support electric vehicles rather than into workers themselves as the green transition puts a “significant financial strain on the automakers and requiring large capital investments.”

Biden and Democrats have thrown their support behind policies that subsidize electric vehicle production and restrict internal combustion engine vehicles. The so-called Inflation Reduction Act and bipartisan infrastructure law also allocated billions to subsidize electric vehicles.