Appearing on “Face the Nation” Rep. Cedric Richmond admitted that talk of “defunding the police” may have cost Democrats seats.
Margaret Brennan asked “Your colleague Whip Clyburn on Fox said recently, “defund the police and Medicare for all and socialism were albatrosses around our necks.” He was talking about this last election. Do you agree that these messages that may actually have energized some progressive voters, some young voters, have ultimately hurt your party? Is there a reckoning that needs to happen among Democrats?”
Rep. Richmond replied “Well, I certainly think there should be a conversation. Now look, our progressive wing of the party is very important to our party, but I think that what Whip Clyburn was trying to say, that no matter how progressive your ideals and values are, and what you want to do and how bold your plans are, if we don’t win, if we don’t keep the majority of the House, you cannot implement any of those plans. So you can’t govern if you can’t win. And so I think our party has to make sure that we have a solid playbook of what we want to do, how we want to help the American people.”
He continued “But, when we lose and if we lose the House of Representatives, then we will be in the minority and we won’t pass a bill for at least two years. And I think that- that his point is we have to make sure we win first and govern second. And so when we govern, we will govern with our values. But when we can’t pass legislation, we shouldn’t be out there talking about it. And some titles hurt. Defunding the police is a title that hurts Democrats, and especially when the fact of the matter is nobody’s calling for defunding the police.”
“We’re calling for reinventing how we police communities in this country, how we do criminal justice. So, I think that basically what the Whip is saying, and I agree with, is that words have consequences. And in this election, those words cost us some Democratic members,” he added.