FNC’s MacCallum to Chris Coons: ‘We’ve Seen a Pretty Major Pivot over the Past 24 Hours’ from Biden on Looting, Rioting

Thursday, Fox News Channel’s Martha MacCallum confronted Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), a supporter of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, about how the Biden’s campaign has handled the civil unrest in cities throughout America.

Coons insisted Biden had been an opponent of rioting and looting. However, MacCallum pointed out that it did not get a mention during the Democratic debate.

Partial transcript as follows:

MACCALLUM: So let’s bring in Democrat Senator Chris Coons, also advocate for Joe Biden. Senator, always good to have you with us. Thanks for being here tonight.

SEN. CHRIS COONS (D-DE): Thanks, Martha. Great to be with you this evening.

MACCALLUM: So I hope you heard the introduction. There was a woman who called into CSPAN, which was a Democrat voter from Minneapolis. She said that she was very upset. She almost sounded like she had tears in her voice when she spoke, that the Democrats at the convention did not talk about what’s happening in her city.

And we’ve seen a pretty major pivot over the past 24 hours to Joe Biden starting to bring it up and others starting to bring it up as well so what’s going on here?

COONS: Well, Martha, here’s what I heard in the last few minutes in Mark Meadows interview and earlier today from Joe Biden. The Chief of Staff to President Trump just said something that is flat out demonstrably untrue, and Joe Biden spoke to it earlier today.

Former Vice President Biden is clear both that he finds these incidents, like the attack on Jacob Blake, like the brutal murder of George Floyd absolutely unacceptable. He thinks these are horrible. They should not happen in the United States, and he’s denounced them and has called for a full and thorough and prompt investigation.

And he joins the family of Jacob Blake in rejecting violence in saying that protesters who are peaceful and orderly, that’s terrific. That is an appropriate way in the United States to express your concerns, but when it becomes a riot, when there’s violence, when there’s looting, that violates our laws, and Joe Biden, and Kamala Harris do not support that.

MACCALLUM: Well, to be honest with you Senator, that’s exactly –

COONS: Well, we just heard Mark Meadows say that –

MACCALLUM: Say that what?

COONS: We just heard Mark Meadows say a completely untrue thing about Joe Biden’s record and where he currently stands so I appreciate the chance to be on here and to help correct that record.

MACCALLUM: Yes but everything that you just said about the concerns over the shooting of Jacob Blake and the killing of George Floyd, every American shares that feeling and every American, I think –

COONS: Well, I’m not sure we’re going to hear that from President Trump tonight, are we, Martha? Martha, are we going to hear from President Trump tonight that he has a plan, both for how we’re going to heal the racial divides in our country and for how we’re going to recover from this pandemic.

I’ll remind you the United States has 5 million infected Americans. They have –

MACCALLUM: We’ll come to COVID, but I want to understand this topic for just a moment if I may Senator, that the fact of the matter is I covered almost every minute of the Democratic Convention. There was no discussion about the violence is happening in our cities, and that’s what you heard from that Democrat voter.

She said I’ve changed my mind. I can’t believe that no one is talking about what’s happening. The looting, the rioting. Every time I brought up the question about what’s happening in the cities, I was told it’s not a big deal. And you know, that it’s mostly peaceful protests.

We don’t have mostly peaceful protests with huge fires burning in the back of them, and now suddenly there’s a recognition on the part of Joe Biden, and I think that’s great. I think everybody says yes, it is time to recognize the pain of these people who have their buildings and their businesses destroyed, Sir.

COONS: Martha, it’s not sudden. This is something that Joe Biden has a long record on — supporting appropriate community policing. We’re being presented with a false choice here. In the United States, we should expect justice for all Americans. We should expect to live in a country where we both uphold the rule of law, where we support law enforcement, where we expect folks to conduct themselves in peaceful and lawful ways.

And where it’s unacceptable, it’s not necessary to our safety and security that police occasionally conduct themselves in unlawful ways so it’s the family of Jacob Blake that is joining former Vice President Biden in calling for calm and peace in Kenosha.

MACCALLUM: Absolutely, we heard that from Mrs. Jackson.

COONS: It is important that the American people know that Joe Biden has a long and clear and positive record of both fighting for racial injustice.

MACCALLUM: So if you – honestly, if you can find me an instance where he condemned the violence and the looting and the rioting during the Democratic Convention, I would love for you to send it to me because if it exists, I will be the first one to admit that he spoke about it at that convention, but I did not see or hear him say that, but please let me know if you did.

COONS: Martha, please play his statement from today.

MACCALLUM: No, that’s different. I told you, I earlier, I said that the tone is changed in the last 24 hours. I absolutely heard what he said today, so I’m glad I think most people are glad that there’s a recognition. I know that woman voter for Minneapolis is glad that now that’s being recognized on both sides of the aisle as well.

I want to ask about the debates. What do you think Nancy Pelosi was suggesting today when she said that she thought that there shouldn’t be any debates and that if she were advising Joe Biden, she would tell him not to debate President Trump. Are you OK with that?

COONS: Well, here’s what I know is true. Joe Biden has accepted the three debates. Donald Trump has not. Joe Biden is eager to debate Donald Trump about his record, and I hope that tonight the American people instead of just a long string of attacks on Joe Biden, some of them untrue, we’ll hear a positive plan from President Trump about how he’s going to deal with both the pandemic and racial inequality.

Nancy Pelosi is the Speaker of the House. She’s negotiating with Mark Meadows. I appreciate her advice, but former Vice President Joe Biden has already committed to three debates with Donald Trump. Donald Trump, our president, has not.

MACCALLUM: Well, the last I heard he was pushing for a fourth debate and I think the consortium is also interested in that and they’re waiting to hear a response from the Biden campaign because in 22 days people start voting and I think both sides feel that it would be helpful if the people who start voting in 22 days have already seen at least one of these debates.

So do you believe there should be a debate prior to the beginning of voting, so a fourth debate?

COONS: There absolutely should be debates between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. The argument in the Supreme Court of the United States in which President Trump, his allies and supporters in a dozen states are going to try to repeal, what is left of the Affordable Care Act of protection for 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions, that argument happens the week after the election.

President Trump has talked out of both sides of his mouth about healthcare. He promised in 2016 that he would replace the Affordable Care Act with something that costs less and protect more. Instead, we’ve got a system where he is still trying to take away healthcare for more than 100 million Americans.

I think he should present in dignity his defense for that course of action.

MACCALLUM: Absolutely, and I would love to ask him that question in a debate as well. I think it’s a great question and both sides should be asked about what they’re going to do about healthcare and everything else. Senator Coons, thank you very much. It’s always good to speak with you, Sir. Thank you for coming tonight.

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor


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