Fox News host Jesse Watters called Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) a “dangerous idiot” over her support for a bill that would abolish federal prisons entirely, releasing all prisoners after ten years.
Watters and his cohosts, on Tuesday’s broadcast of “The Five,” discussed the problems inherent with bail reform and prison reform after low bail allowed the release of a man who then drove an SUV into a Waukesha, Wisconsin, Christmas parade killing at least six and injuring a number of others. The Daily Wire has decided not to name the suspect per its policy against naming the alleged perpetrators of mass casualty incidents.
Dana Perino tied the incident to policies that are still supported by members of the House Progressive Caucus, saying, “While many are furious and wondering how this could happen, members of the squad, well, they are doubling down on criminal justice reforms. AOC criticizing excessive bail in New York City, and Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib being confronted over a plan to release everyone from federal prison.”
Perino referenced Tlaib’s recent interview with Axios political reporter Jonathan Swan, during which he pressed her several times over her support for the BREATHE Act.
As The Daily Wire previously reported:
“In 2020, you endorsed the BREATHE Act, which is a series of proposals to transform America’s criminal justice system and create, quote, ‘a roadmap for prison abolition.’ The BREATHE Act proposes emptying federal detention facilities within 10 years. To what extent have you wrestled with any potential downsides of releasing into society every single person who’s currently in a federal prison?” Swan asked.
Tlaib appeared to laugh off the question, saying, “I think everyone’s like, oh my God, we’re going to just release everybody.”
Swan immediately objected: “But that’s what — that’s what the act says.”
Tlaib pushed back, arguing that her support for the bill was based on the fact that so many who were mentally ill were being incarcerated rather than being treated.
“The congresswoman’s an idiot,” Watters said after Perino aired a clip of the interview. “And she has power, so that makes her a very dangerous idiot.”
Perino went on to note that even the Milwaukee County District Attorney who had pushed for the bail reform that had allowed the Waukesha driver to walk out of jail had known that something like that was likely to happen as a result.
“Is there going to be an individual or put in the treatment program who is going to go out and kill somebody? You bet, guaranteed. It’s guaranteed to happen. It does not invalidate the overall approach,” he said in 2007 — and Perino turned the question to cohost Jessica Tarlov: “I think that yeah, this actually invalidates the approach.”
Tarlov agreed, adding, “And I think that Rashida Tlaib did herself no favors in that interview and I don’t know why anyone should be interviewed by Jonathan Swan unprepared. He is amazing at what he does, and he gets people clearly to talk about things that they did not intend to talk about on the bills and the policies that they support.”
She concluded that while a case could be made for bail reform in some cases, in the Waukesha case the driver had faced numerous charges and never should have been allowed to post bail for just $1000.