During an appearance on America’s Newsroom, the House minority leader accused the former vice president and the House speaker of remaining silent in the wake of violent protests across the nation.
The protests began after the death of George Floyd, who died in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department after a white officer pinned him to the ground and knelt on his neck.
Some of the protests have turned violent, with demonstrators attacking police, looting stores and tearing down statues they claim represent white supremacy.
McCarthy began by saying that those tearing down statues need to be prosecuted, urging officials across the nation to enforce existing laws. “There are already laws on the books, but we need people to enforce them: the mayors across this country,” he stated.
McCarthy also pointed out that he has introduced legislation that would withhold federal funding from cities that refuse to enforce the law.
“And, this isn’t about George Floyd when you look at these statues and what they’re doing,” the Republican continued, pointing out that statues in Madison, Wisconsin, and San Francisco, California, have been taken down.
“But, what happened in San Francisco? St. Serra was taken down,” he noted.
“[Did] you know in 2015, I prayed with Pope Francis, Nancy Pelosi, and Joe Biden in front of St. Serra?” McCarthy asked, before attacking the two Democrats.
“But, you know who’s district that’s in? Nancy Pelosi’s. And, she has not said a word. Joe Biden has not said a word.”
“That’s why the mob continues. That’s lawlessness,” the House minority leader said, adding that he believes Americans have every right to protest and fight for justice, but not to damage private and public property.
Although he has been critical of the Democrats’ approach to police reform, McCarthy has previously expressed support for certain Democratic proposals. As Politico reported, earlier this month he agreed with the suggestion to ban chokeholds and said that he is open to the idea of renaming military bases named after Confederate leaders.
Some Black Lives Matter activists have called for cuts in police budgets, arguing that the funds need to be redirected toward social programs. Polling suggests that most Americans support reform but oppose defunding the police. According to a HuffPost/YouGov survey released earlier this month, only 27 percent of Americans agree with the idea of defunding police departments.