Listen Live

(John Sciulli / Staff / Getty Images)

Black Entertainment Television (BET) founder and longtime Democrat Robert Johnson said in an interview Tuesday with CNBC that the Democratic Party has become too liberal to defeat President Trump in 2020.

“The party in my opinion, for me personally, has moved too far to the left,” Johnson told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble.

Johnson, who is the country’s first African-American billionaire, added that he isn’t supporting a particular 2020 candidate at this time.

“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,” Johnson said. “The message of some of the programs that Democrats are pushing are not resonating with the majority of the American people.”

The BET founder, who supported Hillary Clinton in 2016, even offered praise for the achievements of President Donald Trump’s administration.

“I think the economy is doing great, and it’s particularly reaching populations that heretofore had very bad problems in terms of jobs and employments and the opportunities that come with employment,” Johnson said. “African-American unemployment is at its lowest level…  I give the president a lot of credit for moving the economy in a positive direction that’s benefiting a large amount of Americans.”

Johnson says the Republican tax cuts clearly helped stimulate the economy, but cautioned that partisan politics have gone too far.

“I think business people have more confidence in the way the economy is going,” Johnson said. “If business people are concerned about anything, it’s the clear, clear partisan politics that’s become very wicked and very mean.”

WIBC host Tony Katz:

“Robert Johnson is a man who created something out of nothing and become a billionaire. This is a man who has earned respect, created jobs, done amazing things and given back to the African-American community. But he’s going to be vilified for making these comments. He’s going to get vilified for not being a part of ‘group think,’ for not towing the party line. For the progressive left, if you don’t fall in line with the democratic narrative, you’re not really black. 

Robert Johnson is going to get called a ‘traitor’ for these comments. He’s going to get told that he has sold out. He’s going to get told that he’s backing a racist and bigot.

It’s a shame. When a guy has created his own success, his voice and his opinion should be listened to and considered, but that’s not going to happen.”

Click the link below to hear more from Tony.