Van Jones already made headlines late Tuesday night when he gave voice to voters’ fears regarding a potential Donald Trump presidency. Yet the CNN political commentator wasn’t finished, as his shining moment of the broadcast came when former Trump campaign manager turned media surrogate Corey Lewandowski tried to pick a fight with him over whether or not Hillary Clinton would, and should, deliver a concession speech that very moment.
Moments before, Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta told the crowd gathered at the Javits Center the Democratic nominee “[was] not done yet,” but advised everyone to go home. Lewandowski disagreed with the apparent lack of a concession, saying Clinton was “going to lose tonight” and that “she should call Donald Trump immediately and say, ‘You’ve run a great race. Thank you very much.'” What’s more, he argued, “she owes it to the American people to make a speech.”
Considering the criticism levied against Trump for his refusal to say whether or not he would concede during and after the third debate, Lewandowski had the beginnings of a point. Yet he quickly lost whatever ground he was standing on when, after trying to connect his argument to unrelated comments from Jones, he picked a fight with the latter. To the surprise of everyone watching, Jones remained calm throughout the entire exchange:
JONES: You won.
LEWANDOWSKI: Say it again. I didn’t hear you.
JONES: You won.
LEWANDOWSKI: That’s right, and Hillary Clinton should say that to the American people and say, “Support Donald Trump because there’s one president.”
JONES: Look, it’s 2 o’clock in the morning…
LEWANDOWSKI: Will she?
JONES: Corey, you’re being a horrible person right now. Let me finish.
Unsurprisingly, Lewandowski couldn’t resist the urge to keep sniping at Jones while he tried to make his point. Yet the CNN political commentator did just that, all while continuing his earlier message in the most calming, least-shouty tones expressed by anyone on the panel.
“Where’s the grace going to come from?” he asked. “Where’s the understanding, where’s the empathy going to come from? It’s going to have to come from ordinary people. Tomorrow at work, when we go and look at people who we don’t agree with, this can’t be the interaction. It’s going to have to be ordinary people reaching out to each other.”