Founder of Black Entertainment Television: ‘Democrats Have Moved Too Far Left’


Bob Johnson, the founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET Network), thinks that the Democrat Party has damaged itself by moving “too far to the left.”

Johnson, who describes himself as a long-time centrist yet always a Democrat, is from the old school of Democrats when Republicans were thought of as the “party of the rich,” and liberals had finally taken full control of the party from the old south Democrats to craft an image as a centrist party. But now he thinks that the party is no longer an American-styled party of the middle.

The founder of BET, and America’s first black billionaire, now says that partisanship in the U.S. has become “very wicked and very mean” and the Democrats have stopped bothering with moderates, he recently told CNBC.

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“If business people are concerned about anything, it’s the clear, clear partisan politics that’s become very wicked and very mean. And that’s not helping the American people, and it’s not helping America as a global nation,” he said.

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“The party in my opinion, for me personally, has moved too far to the left,” said Johnson, who also founded the RLJ Companies business network.

“And for that reason, I don’t have a particular candidate (I’m supporting) in the party at this time,” he added. “I think at the end of the day, if a Democrat is going to beat Trump, then that person, he or she, will have to move to the center and you can’t wait too long to do that.”

Making himself a heretic of the far left, Johnson has even praised some of Trump’s policies on the economy.

“I think 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 … so African-American unemployment is at its lowest level, ” the media mogul said.

With unemployment at its lowest rate ever recorded in many cases — especially for women, Hispanics, and blacks — Johnson gives the president high marks.

“I give the president a lot of credit for moving the economy in a positive direction that’s benefiting a large amount of Americans,” he said. “I think the tax cuts clearly helped stimulate the economy. I think business people have more confidence in the way the economy is going.”

Johnson was not a fan of how Trump goes about his job as president, naturally, but he praised the New Yorker for getting things done even though he is rough around the edges in the doing.

“At the end of the day, the American people are looking for someone who can deliver economically and deliver on opportunities,” Johnson insisted.

But he also slammed the national political dialog as simply too partisan. There is “really no give or take in terms of trying to come to an understanding of how best to run the country,” he lamented.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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