- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 29, 2020

John James, who is trying to unseat Democratic Sen. Gary Peters in Michigan this year, on Saturday said the 2020 election is “not about beating Bernie” and that Republicans should offer a more detailed message than “socialism sucks” if they expect to win.

“This election, fellow patriots, is not about beating Bernie,” Mr. James said on the final day of the 2020 Conservative Political Action Conference in suburban Maryland. “This election is about freeing those in socioeconomic bondage in our cities and winning back a generation turning to socialism on our campuses.”

He said he wanted to be “crystal clear” in warning the crowd not to underestimate the appeal of socialism “for those whom the status quo has failed.”

“For us to defeat socialism, for us to save a generation we can’t just say socialism sucks and assume that people will follow us,” he said. “It’s up to us to offer a remedy that works.”

Mr. James, a black Army veteran, lost to Sen. Debbie Stabenow in 2018 by about 6 percentage points, but polling has shown him running competitively against Mr. Peters as the GOP looks to protect its effective 53-47 majority.



He was given multiple standing ovations by the crowd.

“We must show them an America where the son of a slave can become a sharecropper, the son of a sharecropper can become a mason, the son of a mason can become a truck driver, and the son of that truck driver can stand before you here today on the brink of becoming Michigan’s first black U.S. senator,” he said.

That line prompted wild cheering and applause and a “USA!” chant from the crowd.

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