Donald Trump is indeed skipping the first Republican debate on Wednesday and, at least in Van Jones’ opinion, that makes the event a little pointless. Referring to those who are taking the stage as the “not-so-great eight,” Jones thinks that, at this point, they’re all just “shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic of their own campaigns.”
Jones’ assertion came in conversation with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Tuesday night, as the pair discussed the current layout of the party with Stuart Stevens, a former Republican consultant on five presidential campaigns.
“Right now he’s, you know, 40-some points ahead,” Jones said bluntly. “These other people, frankly, these sort of not-so-great eight, are just basically shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic of their own campaigns, figuring out who’s gonna be a cabinet member or VP, as far as I’m concerned.”
When asked if it was a “smart” decision for Trump to sit out the debate, Jones argued yes, because inevitably, his legal troubles — and his subsequent response to them — will make Trump the center of attention again, like he wants.
“[Trump’s] going to counter-program it with his little Tucker Carlson video,” Jones said. “He’s going to get himself arrested the next day and be a big martyr and a crybaby. And just, you know, we’ll talk about the debate for like 15 seconds before he goes and, you know, steals the show again.”
Jones added that Ron DeSantis is likely “gonna get punched a bunch” — at least verbally — during the debate, while simultaneously being the candidate with “the most to prove and the most to lose.”
You can watch Van Jones’ full comments in the video above.