Jones made the admission during an appearance on CNN with The Blaze's Will Cain, who had pressed him on how much his political ideology reflects President Barack Obama's White House. Jones has been making the media rounds in recent days to promote his book, "Rebuild the Dream."
"Your ideology...has been very open," Cain said. "You've said you've flirted with socialism, communism, various aspects. What I'm curious about is, when you were inside, you were part of this administration, how much does your ideology reflect the ideology of the administration?"
Jones, who has famously said he subscribed to radical ideas including communism, took umbrage with the characterization.
"The reason I wrote the book is because, you know, people like this [gesturing to Cain] have done such a great job of smearing me and lying about what my ideas are," Jones said. "The reality is this: I, just like a lot of people, when I was younger -- some people experiment with drugs and alcohol -- I experimented with ideas, world views, philosophies ... . I decided that I was going to do everything I could to change the system, to make sure that poor people didn't get mistreated. I grew up, I learned, I changed."
Jones continued, "My philosophy of using business-based solutions to fight both poverty and pollution, including creating green jobs, including putting people to work in green industries, is exactly what the president ran on. My mature views are the views of the administration."
A clip of that exchange posted on Media Matters characterized Jones as "calling out the lies and smears" about his past. What Media Matters did not include was a second, much calmer continuation of the discussion.
"I was on the left side of Pluto when I was in my 20s, everybody knows that," Jones said. "As I was going through the rest of my life, those ideas were not working. I was going to more funerals than graduations for kids at Oakland. And I said we've got to do something to get jobs in this community. And so we -- the solar industry was taking off, so we said why don't we get these young kids jobs putting up solar panels. And it opened up a whole way of my understanding of how it is you can use enterprise, green businesses, to fight pollution and poverty."
Cain said he "appreciated" Jones' "honesty of his own ideology."
Watch the second segment below:
Jones hasn't been shy about stirring up controversy lately while on his book tour. Frequent "Real News with The Blaze" commentator Jedediah Bila took issue with some of Jones' comments over the weekend when he said libertarians “hate the people, the brown folk, the gays, the lesbians, the people with piercings, ya know ya’ll.”
“I don’t think he knows what [libertarian] means,” Bila said Wednesday during Fox News' "Red Eye." “I really don’t think he understands it. Libertarians are some of the most fierce defenders of gay rights, they’re always talking about issues like that.”