BET Founder: Democratic Party Has Moved Too Far Left

Johnson suggested the party's new positions may hurt in the general election

July 10, 2019

Black Entertainment Television (BET) founder Robert Johnson criticized the Democratic Party for shifting too far left during the presidential primary contest during an interview aired on CNBC Tuesday.

Johnson suggested the party's embrace of far-left positions could hurt the eventual Democratic nominee in the general election against President Donald Trump.

"The party, in my opinion, has moved for me, personally, too far to the left, and for that reason I don’t have a candidate in the party at this time," Johnson said when asked about Democratic presidential primary so far.

Johnson has previously described himself as a centrist who has consistently supported Democratic politicians including former secretary of state Hillary Clinton during her presidential campaign against Trump.

He offered additional advice to the crowd of over 20 Democratic candidates who are fighting to take on President Trump in 2020.

"I think at the end of the day, if a Democrat is going to beat Trump that person, he or she, is going to have to move to the center and you can’t wait too long to do that because the message of some of the programs that the Democrats are pushing are not resonating with the majority of the American people," he added.

The entertainment executive also suggested Democrats will lose their ability to appeal to moderate or independent voters by embracing far-left policies in the primary. The first Democratic debates saw candidates embrace once-extreme positions including decriminalizing border crossings, unlimited access to abortion, and abolishing private insurance in favor of government-run healthcare.

Johnson, who met with Trump shortly after he won the presidency, praised the president for policies that have helped fuel record job gains and economic growth.

"The economy is doing great, and it's reaching populations that heretofore had very bad problems in terms of jobs and employments and the opportunities that come with employment," he said reflecting on President Trump's economic record. Johnson, the nation's first African-American billionaire, specifically pointed to the president's tax cuts and gave him an "A+" on his handling of the economy.