- Hillary Clinton in an interview with the Financial Times dismissed the “Defund the Police” movement.
- “You need accountable measures,” she told the newspaper. “But you also need policing.”
- Some Democrats have argued that the defunding push among some in the party cost them House seats in 2020.
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Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a recent interview dismissed the effectiveness of the “Defund the Police” movement, arguing that there needed to be a balance in maintaining public safety and boosting accountability.
During a recent conversation with the Financial Times, Clinton said that “extreme” positions only serve to alienate voters, a point that many Democrats have made in distancing themselves from the slogan embraced by more progressive elements within the party.
“You need accountable measures,” she told the newspaper. “But you also need policing. It doesn’t even pass the common-sense politics test not to believe that.”
She added: “Some positions are so extreme on both the right and the left that they retreat to their corners … Politics should be the art of addition not subtraction.”
After George Floyd was killed while in the custody of Minneapolis police in May 2020, millions of Americans poured into the streets to protest his death and find remedies to address racial injustice.
Many progressive activists and politicians began to call for a reallocation of funds away from police, believing that organizations and services within individual communities would be better outlets for tackling issues such as mental health and homelessness — rather than allowing law enforcement to continue handling such matters.
Some activists have called for the complete abolition of police departments, a position that most Democrats never held— but one that Republicans sought to tie to now-President Joe Biden during the 2020 election.
While Biden quickly dismissed any notion of defunding police departments — pointing to his longtime support of law enforcement — some Democratic leaders blamed to the slogan as one that cost them several House seats in 2020.
And Clinton argued it is important that such a position not detract from the political stakes of 2024.
“We are standing on the precipice of losing our democracy, and everything that everybody else cares about then goes out the window,” she told the newspaper. “Look, the most important thing is to win the next election. The alternative is so frightening that whatever does not help you win should not be a priority.”