Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) was branded a "hypocrite" after she talked about spending $200,000 for her own private security, but only seconds later the progressive congresswoman demanded that "defunding the police has to happen."
During a CBS News interview Wednesday, Bush was asked about a report that found the Democratic lawmaker spent nearly $70,000 on private security over the past three months, despite also being an ardent supporter of the defund the police movement.
CBS News correspondent Vladimir Duthiers asked Bush about paying for personal security while at the same time demanding the police be defunded.
An inflamed Bush responded, "You would rather me die? Is that what you want to see? You wanna see me die? Because that could be the alternative."
Bush ranted, "So, either I spend $70,000 on private security over the last few months and I'm here standing now and able to speak, able to help save 11 million people from being evicted or I could possibly have a death attempt on my life.
"I have private security because my body is worth being on this planet right now," Bush fumed. "I have private security because they, the white supremacist, racist narrative that they drive into this country, the fact that they don't care that this black woman that has put her life on the line, they can't match my energy, first of all, this black woman who puts her life on the line, they don't care that I could be taken out of here."
"I'm going to make sure I have security because I know I have had attempts on my life," said the congresswoman. "I'm going to make sure I have security because I now have had attempts on my life 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 dollars on it — you know what, I get to be here to do the work. So suck it up."
In the very next sentence, Bush demanded that police be defunded.
"Defunding the police has to happen," she said. "We need to defund the police and put that money into social safety nets because we're trying to save lives."
Bush continued on with her diatribe, claiming that she received death threats from racists and police officers. When asked by Duthiers if police officers threatened her life as a member of Congress, she responded, "I mean — and there are still people, and you know what, the thing is, they can threaten my life, and I'm still working for them."
Bush's comments about having her own personal security while also calling for the police to be defunded for her constituents were blasted on social media.
- Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.): "Best demonstration of capitalism by a socialist ever. Wants to defund the police. Spare me. How many more police officers had to tend to you over the course of your tailgate?"
- Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas): "'Defunding the police needs to happen.' Pay attention America, this extremism has become more and more mainstream on the left. Keep giving them power, and they'll keep getting more radical."
- Rep. Elise Stefanik ( R-N.Y.): "Police for me, but none for thee! Dems hypocrisy knows no bounds."
- Rep Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.): "Translate: My safety is more important than yours."
- Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley: "In just 30 seconds, Rep. @CoriBush says she'll spend hundreds of thousands on personal security and also calls to defund the police. These Democrats care about their own safety, but not yours."
- Former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens: "Security for me but not for thee. Democrats want to defund your police then turn around & spend your tax dollars for private security. Democrats close businesses & schools, mandate anti-science mask wearing for us but not themselves. The hypocrisy of the Left knows no bounds."
- Independent journalist Glenn Greenwald: "I think Cori Bush -- and anyone else in public life who faces legitimate threats -- deserves whatever security they need. That's why it's so bizarre to hear her, seconds after demanding it, demand defunding of the police for ordinary citizens who want the police there also."
- Vox senior correspondent German Lopez: "This is something that's very obvious to me, as someone who lived in Venezuela: When you defund (or underfund) the police, what ends up happening is only rich people have cops because they hire a private army."
- Progressive journalist Matthew Yglesias: "You see it in the Cori Bush clip but there's just a deep, un-acknowledged affinity between 'defund police' and the general idea of privatizing public services."
Rep. Dan Bishop (R-N.C.) asked, "Why doesn't she just call a social worker for security?"
The question is a reference to a $10 billion bill that Bush introduced in June to establish a new public safety agency that would report to the Department of Health and Human Services, and feature a federal first responders unit that would "provide crisis assistance in lieu of federal law enforcement." The People's Response Act would send social workers, mental health counselors, and substance use counselors to certain emergency situations instead of police officers.
Bush's fellow Democratic congresswoman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, also spends tens of thousands of dollars on private security while calling to defund the police.
You can watch the entire CBS News interview with Cori Bush below.
Cori Bush says CDC's new eviction moratorium buys Congress time to act www.youtube.com