Former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett on Bloomberg's stop-and-frisk apology, Biden's primary prospects

Former Obama adviser on the 2020 Dem primary
Former Obama adviser on the 2020 Dem primary 06:53

Valerie Jarrett, friend and longtime adviser of former President Barack Obama, said Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg "needs to do a lot more than just apologize" for the controversial stop-and-frisk policy while he was mayor of New York. Jarrett also said it was "very important" for 2020 candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign to win in South Carolina if he hoped to stay competitive.

Appearing on "CBS This Morning" on Thursday, Jarrett revealed that she had recently joined a call between Bloomberg and African American business leaders. She said the business leaders confronted Bloomberg over stop-and-frisk, a controversy that had recently been dogging his campaign. Under the policy, hundreds of thousands of people were stopped and searched by police without warrants, with the city's black and Latino population disproportionately targeted and the vast majority released without arrest.  

"We were very concerned about the impact that had on so many black families right here in New York," she said. "He apologized as he had done publicly, and he said look, he inherited it, it got way out of control on his watch, and then he reduced it dramatically."

Jarrett said she encouraged Bloomberg's campaign to go further. "One of the things I recommended is, why don't you sit down with some of the families who were impacted by it? And look, even families who weren't impacted were worried about what would happen to their son, and so I think there's a lot more conversation to be had."

She added that Bloomberg should be making the case of what else he had done during his tenure as mayor, and what he could do for the country.

When asked about Biden's lackluster performance in Iowa and New Hampshire, Jarrett conceded that Biden's poor showing was a "gut punch," but that the former frontrunner "has dealt with adversity in his life before."

Jarrett  and Biden had worked together for nearly a decade during Mr. Obama's presidency, and she used the example of Mr. Obama's 2008 loss in the New Hampshire primary as a case for campaigns rebounding from adversity.

Jarrett also shrugged off the idea that it was awkward both Bloomberg and Biden used the former president in their political ads, citing Mr. Obama's enduring popularity. She called it "political malpractice to not use President Obama in your ads."  

Jarrett also said that the numerous candidates vying for the nomination all have the same values. She challenged the notion that having different wings of the party made it hard for Democrats to unite, instead calling it a "strength" stemming from the party's diversity.

"They believe every American should have healthcare - it should be a right, not a privilege. They all believe in a woman's right to choose. They all believe we should have a tax system that's fair to those not at the top end, that creates opportunity for every young person to go to college," she said. "So if you look at the core values, there's barely any difference. The difference is between that field and President Trump."