President-elect Joe Biden thinks calls to “defund the police” led to the Democrats losing seats in the House, according to leaked recording that also captured him balking at calls from progressive members of his party to use his powers of executive authority to grow the economy. “That’s how they beat the living hell out of us across the country, saying that we’re talking about defunding the police. We’re not. We’re talking about holding them accountable,” Biden said in the recording published by The Intercept. While 12 House Democrats lost their seats in the election, none of them campaigned on defunding the police. Biden made the comments unprompted in a Tuesday meeting with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and a group of civil rights leaders.
Biden added that further calls to defund the police could lead to his party losing the two January run-off Senate elections in Georgia which could determine control of the Senate. Both Democratic candidates in those elections, Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, have repeatedly stated they are against defunding the police, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.