Meghan McCain asked Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) what she may have thought was going to be a “gotcha” question Monday morning on The View. Harris wasn’t having it.
“Many activists right now are calling for a defunding of the police,” McCain said when it was her turn to question the senator, citing the Minneapolis City Council vote that would go even further in dismantling that city’s police department. “I want to know from you, do you support defunding and removing the police from American communities, and if not, why do you think there is such a hard time being differentiated right now between defunding and reforming police departments?”
“So Meghan, I think that a big part of this conversation really is about reimagining how we do public safety in America,” Harris began. “We have confused the idea that to achieve safety, you put more cops on the street instead of understanding to achieve safe and healthy communities, you put more resources into the public education system of those communities, into affordable housing, into home ownership, into access to capital for small businesses, access to health care regardless of how much money people have. That's how you achieve safe and healthy communities.”
The senator went on to explain that “in many cities in America, over one-third of their city budget goes to police.” She asked, “What about the money going to social services? What about the money going to helping people with job training? What about helping with mental health issues that communities are being plagued with, for which we’re putting no resources?”
“Senator, I hear you loud and clear, and I don’t think there's any rational American right now that doesn’t think we need to take a cold, hard look at reforming our police,” McCain replied. But she still wanted a yes or no answer on one question: “Are you for defunding the police?”
“How are you defining ‘defund the police?’” Harris shot back.
“Well, I’m not for anything remotely for that,” McCain replied, seeming to jumble her words a bit. “I assume, and again, this is something that is new to me, I assume it’s removing police.” She went on to quote her nemesis Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and repeated a talking point about how it would be a “privilege” to call the police if someone broke into her home.
After Harris once again explained that “defund the police” means a reimagining of “how we are achieving public safety in America,” Sunny Hostin was forced to jump in to make it even simpler for her co-host.
“Just to add to the conversation, defunding the police doesn’t mean abolishing the police,” Hostin said plainly. “It means taking some of those funds that are typically one-third of the budget of a city and giving some of those funds to services like education and mental health resources.”
Hostin then moved on to one more yes-or-no question for Senator Harris: “Given the current climate,” should Joe Biden commit to picking a black female running mate?
“It’s not that simple,” Harris, who is considered a frontrunner for that position, replied. “I just want him to win. He has to win.”