Forget Christmas in July. It was Christmas in August for Republicans.
Wednesday, Congresswoman Cori Bush participated in an interview with CBS News.
During the interview, the Democrat from St. Louis said, ”So suck it up and defunding the police has to happen, we need to defund the police and put that money into social safety nets.”
Within a day, those comments had been made into an ad for the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Had the video in the ad continued, viewers could have heard Bush explain that with the phrase ‘Defund the Police’, she doesn’t mean she wants to get rid of police entirely, but rather that she wants to reallocate some police money to allow social services to respond in certain situations.
In the CBS interview, Bush explained her point, saying, “What other occupation can do work that’s out of their scope and still be propped up to do work that’s out of their scope? As a nurse, I can’t be the surgeon too. You don’t want me being your surgeon and I’m the nurse. At what point do we pay police to be social workers? No, we don’t. How do they get to be social workers? So, what I’m saying is you do your job. Let the people who have gone to school with a particular skill set do theirs.”
The phrase ‘Defund the Police’ has a ring to it that Republicans have used to their advantage, painting Democrats as extremists who want to get rid of police departments entirely.
It has worked for them in some instances.
Following the November 2020 election, Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) reportedly told her fellow Democrats that the movement almost cost her the race. Spanberger represents a suburban area near Richmond, Virginia. The district had long been held by a Republican, until Spanberger flipped it in 2018.
Spanberger’s frustration with the phrase was echoed by Virginia Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), who in a November 2020 interview with WAMU-FM said, ”I think the ability — using terms like ‘defund the police’ have led to Democratic loses in this last year.”
With those comments, it’s no surprise Virginia’s Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin has made an ad attempting to tie his opponent, Terry McAuliffe, to defunding police.
However, Democrats are fighting back. Candidates are painting their Republican opponents as January 6th insurrection supporters and Trump loyalists.
In a recently released ad, former governor and current Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Terry McAuliffe says, ”Let me be clear, Glenn Youngkin is not a reasonable Republican. He is a loyalist to Donald Trump.”
The audio then cuts to Youngkin saying, “President Trump represents so much of why I’m running.”