“Beat ’em. Beat every single one of them,” he said. “Even the safe ones in the House, beat ’em. Beat ’em in the Senate. Take back the Senate.”
Jolly urged Democratic presidential candidates who could defeat a Republican senator to drop out and run in those races instead to help flip the chamber. He also encouraged Democrats to unite and beat President Donald Trump in the 2020 election.
Jolly, who was in Congress from 2014-2017, took some of the blame for the party’s failure to act on gun control.
“I tried to move the needle within the party and I failed,” he said. “And it’s important in this moment to acknowledge it.”
But, he said that the problem was ingrained in the party, which had failed to act after some of the nation’s worse mass shootings:
“I find myself today offering the same insight I did the night of the Parkland shooting a few hours from our home in Florida, which is this: Republicans will never do anything on gun control. Nothing. Ever. They won’t.”
Then, Jolly warned his former fellow lawmakers that the tide was turning against them.
“Your time is coming,” he said. “My mom likes to say the wheels of justice grind slowly, but they grind increasingly and exceedingly fine. That is what has happened to a lot of Republican political careers in moments like this.”
An ardent Trump critic, Jolly quit the Republican Party last year over its support of the president.