Published September 05, 2009
A new video has surfaced showing President Obama's green jobs adviser suggesting that only white students commit mass school killings like Columbine as Republicans renew criticisms of the large number of so-called "czars" in the White House.
Van Jones, the founder of Green for All, which focuses on creating environmentally friendly jobs in poor areas, has come under withering attacks in recent days following revelations that he called Republicans "assholes" and that he once signed a petition supporting the "9/11 truther" movement, which claims that the the Bush administration allowed the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to happen.
In the latest video to surface, Jones is seen in December 2005 making controversial statements on the racial differences in school violence.
"You've never seen a Columbine done by a black child. Never," he said. "They always say, 'We can't believe it happened here. We can't believe it was these suburban white kids.' It's only them. Now a black kid might shoot another black kid. He's not going to shoot up the whole school."
Ralph Peters, a military analyst for FOX News, called Jones a "screaming nut case" who should have never gotten his administration job.
"He needs to give Van Jones an ambassadorship to a remote Pacific island and just get him out of there," Peters said.
"But it's symptomatic of the extreme leftward lurch of this administration," he added. "It's this farthest left administration we've ever had in American history. Obama makes FDR look like Barry Goldwater."
Senator Kit Bond R-Mo., demanded that the Senate Green Jobs and New Economy Subcommittee conduct hearings to probe Jones's behavior and "reassure the American people that their government is safe from his divisive, incendiary and ultimately counterproductive sentiments."
It is the latest call for more oversight of such advisers, who are appointed by the president but don't require congressional approval, as Cabinet members do. Past administrations have used czars, but critics say Obama is taking the practice to an unprecedented level.
Jones, the so-called "green jobs czar," has apologized for the first two controversies, saying his remarks on Republicans didn't reflect the view of the Obama administration and that he didn't carefully review the language of a petition that he signed calling for a "deeper inquiry" into the possibility that the Bush administration was involved in the terror attacks.
But that hasn't satisfied some critics who are calling for Obama to dump him if he won't resign.
"His extremist views and coarse rhetoric have no place in this administration or the public debate," Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana said Friday, the first lawmaker to call on his resignation.
Robert Beckel, a former special assistant to President Jimmy Carter and FOX News political analyst, was the first prominent Democrat to call on Jones to step down. "My guess is that the resignation letter is being written as we speak," Beckel told FOX News on Friday. A veteran of nearly 200 political campaigns, Beckel said Obama cannot afford the distractions created by Jones as the chief executive prepares to address a Joint Session of Congress on health care reform next Wednesday.
But the latest controversy has also given Republicans more ammunition to attack the number of czars in the Obama administration. By some counts, Obama has more than 30 czars managing everything from the restructuring of the domestic auto industry to closing the Guantanamo Bay prison to ending the genocide in Darfur.
Pence called on Obama to suspend appointment of additional so-called "czars" until Congress has a chance to examine the background and responsibilities of such individuals, as well as to determine the constitutionality of such appointments.
Jones' full title is "special adviser for green jobs, enterprise and innovation" at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
"Congress, Republicans and Democrats, have been asleep at the wheel on this," Peters said. "The appointment of 30-plus czars is an attempt to short circuit the Constitution to get around Congress.
"If Obama loves this country and respects the Constitution, he needs to knock it off with the czars and obey the Constitution," he added.