Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson blasted the Democratic Party just weeks after jumping ship for being weak on violent crime and attempting to “defund the police.”
Johnson, who made headlines last month for switching to the Republican Party, was asked about crime policies being one of the reasons for his switch during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday” with host Shannon Bream. He said that he decided to “do things differently” than other Democrats who were calling for reallocating financial support away from the police despite persistent and rising violent crime throughout the country.
“What I’ve seen across the country, too often I think that Democrats primarily is what I’m talking about because that’s who controls most of the major cities in this country – 75 of the top 100 cities in the country are run by Democrats – the problem has become that Democrats were not willing, I think, to say that violent crime is a problem in their city and that it’s a problem that they could actually do something about,” Johnson said.
“In Dallas, I dug in pretty firmly against this whole idea of defunding the police and I said, ‘We’re gonna do things differently here,’ and we’ve had different results,” Johnson told Bream.
The Republican mayor said Democrats tend to blame violent crime on society, the education system, and the economy, which he says “have always been present.” Current levels of homicide and other violent crimes, the mayor argues, have not always been as high.
Johnson also brushed off criticism from a Democrat city council member who claimed that Dallas has become one of the safest large cities in the country because of the Democrat-controlled city council. The mayor said the council “eventually” came to agree with him on crime-reduction policies.
“We were all Democrats at the time,” the mayor said, noting he only switched political parties recently. “It was always a challenge and there were reasons why we had a lot of disagreements, there was a lot of coverage for a long time about a lot of the arguments and a lot of the debates that happened around Dallas City Hall around how we need to respond to requests to defund our police.”
The mayor said that the city council did propose amendments to defund its police department, but he said those were proposed “largely symbolically” and had no legitimate policy reason. According to Johnson, the proposals had the money allocated for things like solar panels and environmental issues – things that “have nothing to do” with the safety of a city during a “crime spike.”
In September, Johnson, a longtime Democrat, switched to the Republican Party, though his office is technically nonpartisan. In an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, he said Dallas has “thrived” under his leadership while Democrat policies in other big cities have worsened homelessness and crime.
“The future of America’s great urban centers depends on the willingness of the nation’s mayors to champion law and order and practice fiscal conservatism,” Johnson wrote. “Our cities desperately need the genuine commitment to these principles (as opposed to the inconsistent, poll-driven commitment of many Democrats) that has long been a defining characteristic of the GOP.”
He told Bream that the Democratic Party “doesn’t represent” his values regarding “law and order” because the Left has policies that “embolden the criminal element” in cities, including calls to “defund the police” and not prosecuting certain crimes. These policies, Johnson argues, “demoralize the police department.”
— Fox News Sunday (@FoxNewsSunday) October 29, 2023