FNC's Beckel: Obama Must Do With Jones What He Did With Wright -- Cut Off Relationship
"Obama has been accused during the campaign of associating with people who were radical, whether it be Bill Ayers or Reverend Wright. He has to do with Jones what he did with Wright, which is to cut his relationship off."
So said liberal Fox News contributor Bob Beckel about the growing controversy surrounding President Obama's "green jobs czar" Van Jones.
In this segment aired Friday evening during "Special Report," Beckel said a resignation is imminent (video embedded below the fold with full transcript):
BRET BAIER, HOST: For the second time in as many days, President Obama's green jobs czar has apologized for controversial statements he's made. The question now is can he and should he retain his job?
Correspondent James Rosen reports his apologies have raised more questions than they've answered.
JAMES ROSEN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: With President Obama sequestered at Camp David, his press secretary swatted aside questions about controversial green jobs czar Van Jones, saying only that Jones continues to work for the administration, and that President Obama does not believe the Bush White House was culpable in the 9/11 attacks.
That's the premise of the group 911Truth.org, whose petition Jones signed in 2004. Late Thursday, Jones apologized for a slew of other unrelated comments from years passed.
VAN JONES, GREEN JOBS CZAR: And you're like, wait a minute. Aren't you the whole company (ph)? Aren't you killing (EXPLETIVE DELETED) in Nigeria?
ROSEN: And of the 9/11 petition, Jones said, quote, "I do not agree with this statement, and it certainly does not reflect my views now or ever." But a spokesman for the 9/11 truthers told FOX News that was not the truth.
MIKE BERGER, 911TRUTH.ORG SPOKESMAN: Those original board members individually confirmed all of the signatories that had signed onto the statement.
They either did it through e-mail or through speaking to them on the phone.
ROSEN: And then there's this: a January 2002 prospectus for a San Francisco newspaper called "War Times." Its founders assailed President Bush's, quote, "merciless bombing" of Afghanistan and his, quote, "racist domestic war on people of color at home." Issue 12, published two years after 9/11, spoke of a Bush cover up concerning the attacks.
And No. 7 on the "War Times" organizing committee was Van Jones.
VALERIE JARRETT, OBAMA AIDE: We were so delighted to be able to recruit him into the White House. We've been watching him.
ROSEN: That Valerie Jarrett, one of the president's closest aides, expressed such enthusiasm for Jones less than a month ago, suggests Mr. Obama was also aware of Jones' hiring. Yet congressional Republicans have begun calling for Jones to resign and for hearings. And by week's end, such sentiments were not confined to the GOP.
BOB BECKEL, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: My guess is that the resignation letter is being written as we speak.
ROSEN: As an aide to President Carter, Bob Beckel is a White House veteran, and he's urged the current president to drop the ax soon.
BECKEL: Obama has been accused during the campaign of associating with people who were radical, whether it be Bill Ayers or Reverend Wright. He has to do with Jones what he did with Wright, which is to cut his relationship off.
ROSEN: A White House offical told FOX NEWS today what is obvious by now, that Van Jones, quote, "wasn't fully vetted prior to his appointment."
But Valerie Jarrett's statement last month that "we've been following him for as long as he has been active out in Oakland" suggests that Jones' views and style, Bret, have long been known to the president and to his advisors.
BAIER: We'll be watching it. If there's any releases tonight, we'll get them to you. Thanks.
We'll be watching, too.