President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign on Monday criticized former Vice President Joe Biden for failing to reject the radical leftist movement to “defund the police.”
“Defunding the police is exactly what this movement means,” Campaign Communication Director Tim Murtaugh said in a call with reporters. “Joe Biden is complicit in this and he does not have the strength to stand up to the extremists that are now calling the shots in the party, and he would contribute to the chaos.”
Murtaugh said that Biden’s silence on the issue was a growing sign of his willingness to “pander to and appease” the extreme left.
“He has surrendered any common sense that he has to the radical left of his party,”
Former Mayor of Cincinnati Ken Blackwell expressed alarm at the idea, noting that defunding the police would hurt vulnerable communities of color.
“You have to be stuck on stupid to buy into that,” he said. “You really do have to have blinders on to the misery index that we are witnessing, as we watch the effects of Covid-19 and the violence and chaos that have been put on these neighborhoods.”
The campaign dismissed the idea that there was systemic racism in police departments across the country, as Murtaugh noted that the “vast majority of police officers of all colors are good members of the community.”
“No one hates a bad cop worse than a good cop,” former Chester County Republican Sheriff Carolyn “Bunny” Welsh, a member of the National Advisory Board for Women For Trump said on the call, labeling the movement to defund the police as “absurd.”
“It would create nothing but chaos and anarchy,” she said.
The campaign noted that Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Ilhan Ohmar supported the idea of defunding the police as well as leftist Mayors Bill de Blasio of New York and Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles after announcing plans to remove funding for their police departments.
Welsh criticized Biden for failing to back law enforcement during the protests and remaining silent on the “defund the police” movement.
“He owns this movement,” she said. “He’s never condemned the violence, by his silence he is endorsing chaos and anarchy and lawlessness, he owns this, and the absurdity of him not condemning the violence is just beyond words.”
Not long after the Trump campaign call ended, the Biden campaign clarified his stance on the issue in a statement, although Biden himself did not condemn it.
"Biden does not believe that police should be defunded. 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 supports the urgent need for reform…" pic.twitter.com/k0IConBSj3
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) June 8, 2020
That prompted the Trump campaign to demand that Biden appear on camera to denounce the movement.
“Profile in courage to send out a mid-level campaign staffer to claim Joe Biden opposes defunding the police,” wrote Trump 2020 Rapid Response Director Andrew Clark on Twitter. “Read between the lines: Biden is on camera.”
Profile in courage to send out a mid-level campaign staffer to claim Joe Biden opposes defunding the police.
Read between the lines: Biden is on camera. https://t.co/p6WwpYs6gm
— Andrew Clark (@AndrewHClark) June 8, 2020