After all the celebrating last week, Democrats got a big dose of reality on Sunday, when Alabama’s newly elected senator, Doug Jones, made clear he won’t always toe the party line. “I’m going to talk to people on both sides of the aisle, try to figure out what I think is in the best interests of my state and in the country,” Jones said on CNN’s State of the Union. “I don’t think anybody should depend on, be able to count on my vote for anything.”
Jones differentiated himself from many in his party by saying he doesn’t think President Donald Trump should resign over the numerous sexual misconduct allegations against him. In fact, he thinks it’s time to stop talking about the issue. “I don’t think that the president ought to resign at this point,” Jones said on CNN. “Those allegations were made before the election, and so people had an opportunity to judge before that election. I think we need to move on and not get distracted by those issues.”
Earlier this month, Jones called on Sen. Al Franken to resign over sexual misconduct allegations and CNN’s Jake Tapper asked the senator-elect why the president shouldn’t be held to the same standard. “Well, again, I go back to the fact that those allegations were made, and he was elected president of the United States, and I think the American people spoke on that at this time,” Jones said. “There’s other things out there, but I think, at this point, we need to move on and try to work with some real issues that are facing the country and not worry about getting at odds with the president any more than we have to.”
Jones also didn’t outright criticize the Republican tax bill. Jones likely won’t get a chance to vote on the bill anyway but he said on Fox News Sunday that he hasn’t had a chance to review the measure. Although the senator-elect expressed support for cutting tax rates for middle-class families and corporations, he criticized how it increases the deficit. “We’ll wait and see how it goes,” Jones said. “We’re going to start looking at it just in case I’m up there ahead of time. But it’s a complicated bill. It’s not the simplification process that we were all told about early on.”
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