White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday that defunding the police is not a Democratic message, nor will it be going into the midterm elections, after Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., declared that Americans need to “suck it up” and make it happen.
Bush made headlines Thursday morning after she told CBS News that the police “need” to be defunded, despite shelling out $70,000 for her own personal security detail. She said she has security because she has been the target of death threats and has “too much work to do” on Capitol Hill to let them slow her down.
“I’m going to make sure I have security because I know I have had attempts on my life,” she said. “And I have too much work to do, there are too many people that need help right now for me to allow that. So if I end up spending $200,000, if I spend $10 more on it, you know what, I get to be here to do the work, 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.”
During her daily White House press briefing, Psaki was asked by Fox News’ Peter Doocy to weigh in on Bush’s comments in light of President Biden’s remarks last month that Republicans who try to paint the Democratic Party as anti-police are “lying.”
“I think we shouldn’t lose the forest through the trees here,” Psaki responded to Doocy, “which is that a member of Congress, an elected official, is concerned that her life is threatened. And that’s disturbing that any elected official would have to suffer death threats and fear for their life … I think we should start with that point first.”
“I will say that the president has been crystal clear that he opposes defunding the police,” she continued. “There may be some in the Democratic Party like Congresswoman Bush who disagree with him, and that’s OK. But I would say the majority of Democrats, we’ve seen this in polling, and the majority of members also agree that we should not defund the police.”
Doocy pressed Psaki on whether Biden was concerned that “suck it up, defunding the police has to happen” might “become a big Democratic message ahead of the midterms.”
“It does not appear to be becoming a Democratic message, even though there might be a desire for that on the other side of the aisle,” Psaki replied.
Bush’s office did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment.