CNN's Van Jones Dubs Glenn Youngkin the 'Delta Variant of Trumpism'

CNN's Van Jones compared Glenn Youngkin to the Delta variant of the coronavirus hours before the Republican won Virginia's tight race for governor.

The former Obama administration official likened Youngkin to the highly transmissible variant of the virus, which emerged over the summer, before the polls closed on Tuesday night.

"The stakes are high. When this election is over in Virginia, we will know... have we seen the emergence of the Delta variant of Trumpism? The Delta variant of Trumpism," Jones said. "In other words, Youngkin, same disease, but spreads a lot faster and can get a lot more places."

My point is that playing on racial fears by demagoguing CRT furthers dangerous aspects of Trumpism, just in friendlier form. Did not mean to imply that human beings are diseases.

— Van Jones (@VanJones68) November 3, 2021

He later took to Twitter to clarify his point. "My point is that playing on racial fears by demagoguing [critical race theory] furthers dangerous aspects of Trumpism, just in friendlier form," he wrote. "Did not mean to imply that human beings are diseases."

Jones and Youngkin's campaign have been contacted for comment.

Jones also described the initially tally of Virginia's vote as a "big, big wake-up call" for Democrats. "I think that, you know, the Democratic Party, I mean, everybody that I'm talking to tonight... this is a big, big wake-up call. I think people took Virginia for granted," he said.

After CNN projected Youngkin, a businessman and political newcomer, would be Virginia's next governor and the race for New Jersey governor narrowed, Jones declared a "five-alarm fire" for President Joe Biden and his party.

"This is a big deal. These numbers are bad," Jones said. "These are our voters... these are voters that came to us in 2018, came to us in 2020 and have abandoned us in droves in two states that should be in our column. That's a big deal. That is a five-alarm fire."

Youngkin became the first Republican to win statewide office in Virginia—a state Biden carried by 10 points in last year's election— since 2009.

He tapped into culture war battles over education and race, and managed to deflect Democratic opponent Terry McAuliffe's efforts to tie him to former president Donald Trump.

Polls showed the race narrowed after McAuliffe, a former governor of Virginia, said he didn't think "parents should be telling schools what they should teach" during a debate in late September. That prompted Youngkin to run numerous television ads hammering McAuliffe for the remark and focus on his own pledge to overhaul Virginia's schools, which he said would include banning critical race theory on his first day in office.

In the final days of the campaign, McAuliffe had accused Youngkin of ending his campaign on a "racist dog whistle" after he ran an ad featuring a mother who had led an effort to ban Beloved, a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Black Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, from schools.

Glenn Youngkin and Van Jones
Left, Glenn Youngkin watches results come in on election night at the Westfields Marriott Washington Dulles, Chantilly, Virginia, on November 2, 2021. Right, CNN host Van Jones looks on during the Milken Institute Global Conference on October 18, 2021, in Beverly Hills, California.. Getty Images/Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images-Manny Carabel/WireImage