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A far-left guest on “The View” sounded off on President Biden’s State of the Union remarks pouring cold water on the “defund the police” movement, saying Friday that Biden was admitting he didn’t care about reform.
“Let’s not abandon our streets. Or choose between safety and equal justice,” Biden said on Tuesday. “We should all agree: The answer is not to defund the police. The answer is to fund the police. Fund them with resources and training they need to protect our communities.”
Elie Mystal, a correspondent for The Nation and a frequent MSNBC guest, fumed Biden was “trying to be nice” in his address and suggested cops on the streets would still be just as likely to kill African-Americans for no reason, regardless of funding.
“He’s trying to be nice … That really I think goes wrong when you talk about the other big missed opportunity which was Mr. Fund the Police,” he said. “Can we just talk as adults? Does anybody in good faith think that the problem with police brutality in this country is that the police aren’t funded enough?”
His liberal fellow panelists responded “no,” but polls show far greater support for more spending on police budgets than less. A Pew research survey last year showed 47 percent of adults wanted more spending on policing in their area, with just 15 percent saying they wanted less. That included more Black respondents (38 percent) saying they wanted more spending than less (23 percent).
Mystal then sarcastically wondered aloud if there was a cop in the street saying, “I was going to let that Black man live, but I just didn’t have the funding and the training to understand what humans look like.”
“‘If only I had gotten a raise, that Black man might have lived,'” he went on. “That’s not what’s happening, right? When Biden says fund the police, fund them, fund them, fund them, what I hear is I don’t care anymore, I don’t care, I don’t care, I don’t care.”
Mystal said Tuesday that Biden’s comments were “what whites want to hear.”
Mystal said Friday Biden’s remarks were not a “politically courageous” strategy, leading co-host Ana Navarro to respond that she felt Biden was simply responding to the “misunderstood” slogan.
“Get rid of the slogan, so we can have an actual policy debate on reform and where to put the funding,” Navarro said. “You’re always talking about funding mental health respondents and having that be part of police response.”
“He should have said that then, right?” Mystal said. “He’s the president making the address about his policy. How is he going to do the whole speech about his slogans and not tell me what the actual policy is? We’re going to fund the police, so we can do this or that or the other thing. He doesn’t say that. He just wanted that sound bite, fund the police … to get Republicans off his back.”
Mystal cited a survey showing Blacks with a 66 percent approval rating for Biden, which he called politically disastrous for a Democrat. Democrats in the White House generally enjoy sky-high approval ratings from Black voters.
“It certainly wasn’t politically smart for the Black community,” co-host Sunny Hostin said.
Biden is pushing Congress to approve his budget request of $200 million for community violence interventions, and $300 million to more than double the size of the Justice Department’s COPS community policing hiring grant program.
The “defund the police” slogan does not have support from leaders of the Democratic Party after the mantra was politically disastrous for down-ticket Democrats in the 2020 election. Some “Squad” members in the House like Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., continue to support it, however.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.