- Joe Biden asserted he is against the movement to defund and dismantle police departments
- ‘No, I don’t support defunding the police,’ Biden told CBS News on Monday
- The denial of support from Biden comes as Republicans attempt to peg the defund movement on Democrats and the presumed Democratic candidate
- Donald Trump is also attempting to make the topic a campaign issue – as moderate Democrats break from the far-left wing of the party on defunding
- ‘There won’t be defunding. They won’t be dismantling of our police,’ Trump said during a meeting with law enforcement officials at the White House Monday
- He also has claimed if Biden is elected, he will be controlled by radical leftists and will ultimately defund police departments and the military
Joe Biden firmly denied any support Monday for the defund police movement as Republicans and Donald Trump attempted to peg the radical stance on the opposition party and presumed Democratic nominee.
Trump quoted conservative journalist Miranda Devine in a Tuesday morning tweet, sharing the sentiment that Democrats support defunding police: ‘Democrats & Activists call to Defund Police Departments. They’ve gone so far Left that they eat their young.’ @mirandadevine @nypost @foxandfriends’
‘No, I don’t support defunding the police,’ Biden sharply told CBS News’ Norah O’Donnell on Monday.
He instead signaled backing for some reforms to policing, similar to what Democrats are proposing in a sweeping police reform bill they unveiled Monday morning.
‘I support conditioning federal aid to police based on whether or not they meet certain basic standards of decency and honorableness and, in fact, are able to demonstrate, they can protect the community and everybody in the community,’ the candidate continued.
The ‘defund the police’ movement calls for funds to be removed from police departments and allocated to social services instead. Some in the movement are even calling for police departments to be dissolved altogether.
The flat and swift denial of support for the notion came out as Republicans ramped up an effort to hang the movement on his campaign – but he did not beat Trump to the punch.
‘This year has seen the lowest crime numbers in our Country’s recorded history, and now the Radical Left Democrats want to Defund and Abandon our Police,’ Trump charged on Twitter Monday. ‘Sorry, I want LAW & ORDER!’
The president’s reelection campaign also released a statement Monday ‘on Joe Biden’s weakness on Defund the Police.’
‘Joe Biden cannot be let off the hook after his campaign issued a weak statement from a mid-level staffer,’ Trump 2020 Communications Director Tim Murtaugh wrote in the blog post on DonaldJTrump.com.
‘Until Americans hear from Joe Biden himself, they have no way of knowing where he really stands,’ Murtaugh continued, which was met shortly after with Biden himself coming out against the movement.
Trump’s campaign asserted that Biden ‘could single-handedly step in and steer elected Democrats away from this terrible policy.’
The president also retweeted a post from the GOP on Tuesday morning, which claims ‘Democrats’ calls to defund the police are dangerous!’
‘Doing so would weaken the rule of law & cause chaos in the US,’ the tweet continued. ‘President Trump will ALWAYS fight for law & order & stand up for the men & women in blue who protect American communities.’
The president also shared a tweet from a former senior adviser to Ronald Reagan, Ed Rollins, who accused Biden of flip-flopping on several issues in the past, and claimed it was likely he would switch his stance to defunding police in the future.
Trump also posted another tweet from the Republican Party that shared a clip of Sheriff Bob Gualtieri of the Florida Sheriff’s Association.
‘We all support the notion that we can do better but this notion of defunding the police… frankly is just a bunch of political rhetoric.’ Gualtieri said in the clip.
President Trump vowed in a Monday meeting at the White House with law enforcement officials, including police unions and attorneys general, that there will not be any defunding or dismantling of police.
‘There won’t be defunding. They won’t be dismantling of our police. And they are not going to be any disbanding of our police,’ Trump said as he praised himself for his response to the protests and police officers for their service.
‘Our police have been letting us live in peace,’ Trump said, but also acknowledged that there are a few ‘bad actors.’
He said 99 per cent of cops are great people.
‘Let’s go with 99% of them are great, great people. They have done jobs that are record-setting, record-setting,’ the president said.
“Defunding Police would be good for Robbers & Rapists.” @SenBillCassidy— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2020
In the midst of the praiseful meeting, Biden tweeted that Trump is busy ‘patting himself on the back’ while ignoring the real issues facing the country.
‘We’re facing some of the greatest challenges in our history, and Donald Trump is patting himself on the back. He just has no idea what’s really going on in this country,’ Biden tweeted on Monday. ‘It’s time for him to step out of his bunker and look around at the consequences of his words and actions.’
We're facing some of the greatest challenges in our history, and Donald Trump is patting himself on the back. He just has no idea what’s really going on in this country.— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) June 8, 2020
It's time for him to step out of his bunker and look around at the consequences of his words and actions.
While Trump was holding the meeting at the White House, Biden traveled to Houston, Texas where he spent over an hour meeting with Floyd’s family ahead of the victim’s funeral on Tuesday.
Biden also met with Floyd’s six-year-old daughter Gianna and her mother Roxie Washington. He expressed his sympathies to Gianna and ‘promised to push for changes in policing,’ according to Washington’s attorney Chris Stewart, who posted a photo of the meeting on Instagram.
Murtaugh claimed in a call with reporters Monday that Biden is ‘complicit’ in the ‘defund police movement,’ which has garnered strength in the wake of George Floyd’s death – and is even more strengthened after Minneapolis officials voted to disband the police force.
‘As the protesters like to say, silence is agreement. By his silence, Joe Biden is endorsing defunding the police,’ Murtaugh said.
Biden’s campaign shot back against Team Trump’s attempt to turn the topic into an election wedge issue to drive voters to the polls in November.
‘As his criminal justice proposal made clear months ago, Vice President Biden does not believe that police should be defunded,’ Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement. ‘He hears and shares the deep grief and frustration of those calling out for change, and is driven to ensure that justice is done and that we put a stop to this terrible pain.’
Biden asserted in a tweet last week in a rebuke of Trump’s response to the violent riots and peaceful protests that ensued after Floyd’s death: ‘The nation is crying out for leadership — but this president has nothing to offer.’
While Biden, who won enough delegates over the weekend to earn the Democratic nomination, received praise from moderate and establishment Democrats for his stance, the far-left section of the party is disappointed.
‘The current notion of policing in America must be dismantled. And that is why you see city councils like Minneapolis and other elected bodies on the local and state level doing just that,’ Nina Turner, Bernie Sanders former campaign co-chair, asserted.
‘So for the vice president to reject the notion out of hand is showing a tone-deafness that the black community certainly can’t afford for anybody vying for the presidency to have,’ she continued.
Senior Director of Criminal Justice Campaigns Scott Roberts for Color Of Change, a racial justice organization, called Biden’s comments and proposals ‘disappointing.’
‘I feel like it’s not a reaction that’s rooted in a lot of reflection, frankly,’ Roberts said. ‘I don’t know that Sen. Biden has taken the time to talk to groups that are leading this charge to defund the police.’
Barack Obama’s former senior adviser, David Axelrod, however, called Biden’s move ‘the right position.’
‘Fundamental change — re-imagining public safety, rethinking how money is allocated and doing it in partnership with the community — is essential,’ Axelrod said.
‘But very few people would embrace the elimination of police with nothing to replace them,’ he continued. ‘Trump would have a field day with that. He’s already trying to weaponize the words.’