September 6th, 2009
05:49 PM ET
11 years ago

Obama did not order Van Jones' resignation, adviser says

Van Jones speaks during the National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada, in August.

Van Jones speaks during the National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada, in August.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The resignation of Obama administration figure Van Jones, following controversies over a petition he had signed and his comments about Republicans, did not come at the request of the president, the White House senior adviser said Sunday.

"Absolutely not - this was Van Jones' own decision," David Axelrod told NBC's "Meet the Press" when asked if the president had ordered the resignation.

The chairman of the House Republican Conference, Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana, had called for Jones to resign or be fired.

"I think Van Jones did the right thing," Pence said Sunday about the resignation. "His extremist views and coarse rhetoric have no place in this administration."

Jones has frequently been dubbed a "green-jobs czar" for the administration.

"The president should suspend any future appointment of so called czars while the administration and the Congress carefully examines the background and qualifications of the more than 30 individuals who've been appointed to these czar positions," said Pence, speaking to reporters. "And the Congress ought to initiate a thorough inquiry into the constitutionality of this practice which has spanned Republican and Democrat administrations."

In a statement Saturday night, the White House said Jones was giving up his post at the Council on Environmental Quality, where he helped coordinate government agencies focused on delivering millions of green jobs to the ailing U.S. economy.

"On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me," Jones said in the statement. "They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide."

Updated:5:49 p.m.

Full story

Filed under: Obama administration • Popular Posts • Van Jones
soundoff (179 Responses)
  1. J.C. - Independent & Insured

    There should be no discrimination against race.
    There should be no discrimination against a Public Option in the exchange.
    We should give every idea an Equal Opportunity for the health care reform.

    GOP have been fighting for choice, while DNC for change.
    This conservative Independent recommends let's do both choice and change, and allow private insurers, non-profit co-ops and the Public Option in the same exchange for all Americans to choose.

    For Public Plan, there are two possible scenarios. One is the Universal Care System, which most developed countries enjoy. The other is a Public Plan in a smaller scale.

    If we offer a Public Option with a limited scale, it will serve mostly the Middle Class as the rich and the poor are already covered.

    1. Everyone has to pay a percentage of their income or AGI, no matter how large or small, with No Limit. No matter who writes the check for your income-based premium, it is you, the insured, that is paying for it. This % has to be less than 8%, the penalty rate for those employers that choose not to cover their employees.

    2. Subsidies from the self-sustaining Public Plan pay premiums for those with less incomes.

    3. It used co-pays to control system abuse except for preventive care.

    4. It adds an age-based premium, for example, a 1-year-old pays $1 per month, while a 40-year-old, $40/mo.

    5. One problem with this limited Public Plan is how we can treat a family for insurance purpose. If we were to have a Universal Health System, we can treat every insured as an individual, no more family or employer-based insurance. Therefore, we can have a limited Public Plan if and only if the poor can retain Medicaid and the family of an employee pays a higher percentage of premiums.

    A Universal Health System empowers each individual insured, which has been the weakest insurance consumer ever. Then, new college graduates can hike the Appalachian Trail without worrying about getting injured when they are no longer covered by their parents' insurance; you can work on any job without looking at heath care benefits. Creativity will flow again and small businesses will thrive with talents. The Public Plan will help us create more jobs and revive our economy.

    September 6, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  2. ralph

    Hey TRUTH, how dare you bring up Rush to make a point. You are just showing what a fool you are!!! Be an independent thinker and not a calve being herded with the rest of the roundup to be slaughtered.

    September 6, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  3. jj

    How sad!

    You can only be a republican to even accuse the president of outrageous stuff like racism and socialism......

    September 6, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  4. john

    What's that flushing sound accompanied by the swirling of water?

    September 6, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  5. Me

    Jim September 6th, 2009 9:46 am ET

    My God will the window licking Retardlicans please just go and live in the third world countries they represent. The intelligence level in the Retradlican party borders on caveman levels. Politics, so easy a Retardlican can do it.

    I see the vast intellect of the Democrat/Liberal/Progressive movement has once again refuted any argument from the Conservative/Republican side of the aisle. Pass the kool-aid, please.

    September 6, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  6. chubby

    So everyone is out to get jones and the only thing they could do, was use his own speeches and writings against him. Please tell me how that is a right wing conspiracy. A devout communist, freely stated he thought 911 was an inside job and was working on getting rid of the American way of life(capitalization)and replace with a marxist way of life like castro and other third world dictators. He must have fit in with obama and other czars that were hired by obama. I guess obama has the same political leanings and only hired czars who felt the same way he does.

    September 6, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  7. TR

    How can anybody associated with CNN retain any self respect? The administration of the current US President is full of radical, anti-traditional American values. This individual Van Jones is recorded, in public, many times, on video and sound tracks, spouting racist, leftist, Marxist dogma and hate speach. But not a single word is spoken or written in the CNN universe regarding these facts. Mr Jones 'resigns' finally. Which means the admin decided how to combat the truth about this awful individual. And this admin accepts his vitriolic statement blaming anybody but himself for his downfall.

    Sad, pathetic, and so corrupt. CNN, NBC, ABC, MSNBC...where are you?

    September 6, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  8. jinxie

    Who cares? Another liar bites the dust. They' re all corrupt. They're all thieves. So another one resigns and goes on the circuit shilling for more political crap. Good riddance.

    September 6, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  9. Peter

    As a tireless advocate for disadvantaged people and the environment, Van helped to pass America's first "green job training" legislation: the Green Jobs Act, which George W. Bush signed into law as a part of the 2007 Energy Bill. He is the co-founder of a number of successful non-profit organizations, including the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and Green For All.

    So what's up with when he worked under Bush?

    September 6, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  10. champly

    J.C. – good concept but flawed. Mr. Obama and some Democrats want to dictate everything from who is covered to how many aspirin you can buy. GIving them a vehicle to take us there is unacceptable.

    September 6, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  11. joe

    Van Jones needed to resign. Now the radical Right can't use him as a distraction (although goodness knows the fools will try).

    September 6, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  12. tony

    It is very simple why Van Jones was not covered by anyone except Fox News and conservative radio. He is not that important. He was not a senior advisor to the President, and his job was at the relatively obscure Council on Environmental Quality. In a Republican administration, no one would even know that such an office exists. He is a nobody compared to people like Governor Sanford, who still has not resigned. With health care reform dominating the news, no one in the press was paying attention to Van Jones. OK, except Fox News.

    September 6, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  13. meg

    You know what's great about posting on Sunday morning? Octotroll's off getting religious instruction, so no trolling posts for a few hours.

    It's faaaaantastic!!!

    September 6, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  14. ken

    Glenn Beck talks about revolution against the government every day on his show. So, the country is mad at Jones becuase he said some things about imperialism once, and condones Beck who says it every day. I thnk that President Obama should have told the republicans who have called him satan, Hitler, racist, socialis, communist, imperialist, monkey man, etc. to go jump in the lake and that Jones was not going anywhere.

    September 6, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  15. kate

    Please just add a comment, not write a thesis!

    Glad this guy is gone...he was scary.

    September 6, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  16. Dan

    Some of his words were smeared. I saw this story unfold on Fox over a week ago. I started researching and lo and behold...Fox had very little...but enough to make this into a full blown story. Glenn beck went to work and distorted many of the things that this man did say. This is America. Jones has freedom. He has the right to believe in what he believes. FOX news took some of his early thinking and distorted it for headlines. So there are no good guys...but atleast I knew what Jones felt...I can only guess what FOX is up to....and its not freedom of the press.They also have an guys just support it.

    September 6, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  17. nick

    I loaded up Fox news this morning and found a video that I published being used to hurt Van Jones, and cast doubt on Obama for choosing him. This makes me absolutely sick! I have my own political views, same as anyone, but to see a video that I spent countless hours crafting, used to smear a good man like Van Jones? This is the blackest of all political tactics.

    September 6, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  18. Richie

    Let racism raise it's urgly head.

    This is among the few bright people from Yale university in this administration . Now he has been asked to go...

    Has Glen Beck left Fox news yet?

    September 6, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  19. vicky

    And the sniping begins!

    September 6, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  20. Harry

    I believe this is Racism. Where were they the last 7months till Beck show has been hit by advertisers leaving ?

    September 6, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  21. Rick in OP

    Many people have had serious reservations about Obama’s true political philosophy based on his past associations with the likes of William Ayers and Rev. Jeremiah Wright. By having Van Jones involved with this administration, it serves as confirmation of the extreme left-wing nature of Obama.
    Greater scrutiny needs to be a applied to the rest of Obama’s appointees.
    Perhaps the term “commissars” should be substituted for “czar”. It seems to describe the true leanings of Obama and his cronies.

    September 6, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  22. putUonBlast

    I think that no matter who...or what is said or done... by anyone linked to President Obama and the White House, some people, especially Republicans and conservatives will use it as a racial rallying CRY for the few citizens that can not except that a African-American is "OUR" President. Van Jones was only an "advisor"...not the President! For the past month, I have seen and heard White people and politicians spew "HATE TALK...RACIAL SLURS......CLANDESTINE Talking-points geared towards promoting insidious behavior towards President Obama. Obama has never addressed anyone in this manner. Yet, there are those who continually try to link him to those who have. Van Jones may have spoke in the past about what he, and frankly others believe about 9/11 and the Columbine attacks, (why don't you check statistics first) but it was not Obama who said this. If you want to be fair.....Go online and put in "Racial Statements made by White Officials" and see what you come up with!! The following is only one such one I found on the US Message Board website;

    "Nixon's Racist Comment Here:


    "There are times when an abortion is necessary. I know that. When you have a black and a white," he told an aide, before adding: "Or a rape.

    And just 36 years after he made this comment, Barrack Obama became president.

    I just love that Republicans dare to suggest Democrats are the racist party." ........President Nixon

    September 6, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  23. Peggy

    This one is for leticia. Obviously, by your own admission, you listen to the Faux News Network and say you haven't found ANY lies reported by Beck, Limbaugh or anyone else. If you really believe that, why are you even tuning in to CNN?????? In answer to you question, why does Mr. Obama hate America, just go ahead and tune in to those IDIOTS at FOX NEWS. They will be more than happy to tell you. Please, please, please get a brain!!!!!

    September 6, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  24. mike

    First, lets go after everyone who signed a petition implying that the President is an illegal alien.

    Then we can start a witch hunt for anyone in government who disagrees with a public health option.

    Come on, Dems! This is how its done! Get off your keisters and start fighting like Republicas already!

    September 6, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  25. Ken

    No longer an issue of coverage now that Van Jones has resigned.

    September 6, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
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