Trump 'throwing fire on to an already volatile situation' with protests: Val Demings

Martha Raddatz interviews Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., on "This Week."
5:26 | 09/06/20

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Transcript for Trump 'throwing fire on to an already volatile situation' with protests: Val Demings
Everybody got to get it together and come together as one and we get the best man to lead the country which by far is Donald Trump. People work hard for their businesses, people work hard for their homes, so wouldn't you want someone who's going to send in the National Guard, send in authorities to stop people from looting, burning down your buildings, wouldn't you want a president like that? Some of the president's supporters I met during our cross-country tour and joining me now to discuss that and much more, democratic congresswoman Val demings from the battleground state of Florida. Good morning, congresswoman. As you saw, we talked to voters about a lot of topics, but law and order certainly resonated among them. After the coast to coast violence. As a former law enforcement officer, and someone who nearly joined the democratic presidential ticket, is your party striking the right balance? Well, good morning. It's great to be with you. And let me say this, as a 27-year law enforcement officer the foundation of every great community really is the opportunity to live in a safe community, and so all persons, regardless of what part of the nation they're from, the color of their skin or their ethnic background, want to live in safe communities. What makes America great, is the individual right to protest. Our job is, to make sure peaceful protesters are able to exercise their right. Guaranteed under the first amendment. We also have to make sure that those who break the law, those who exercise violence, regardless of what side of the political aisle that they're on, must be held accountable. In this country, Martha, we can do both. A recent ABC news/ipsos poll shows 55% of voters think president trump's rhetoric on the protests is making things worse, but 49% say Biden's response to the protests isn't having any impact one way or another. What does he need to do for his messaging to break through? It's something we saw along the trail this week. Let me say this, president Donald John trump is the commander in chief. And so the buck stops with him. And I said, weeks ago, that while America was going through civil unrest in all 50 states, quite frankly, America was on fire. We had a president, a commander in chief who was walking around with a gasoline can, not trying to sow peace and calm, but actually throwing fire on an already volatile situation. I believe that vice president Biden is on the right track, you've heard him talk about peaceful protests, but he's also talked about accountability, regardless of those who are involved in violence should be held accountable. He talked about supporting good but also holding the bad ones accountable. That's how we're going to get to the place where we need to get. And let me say this -- what we're currently seeing in our country isn't sustainable. And it's really time to start moving from what we're seeing in the streets, I believe, to having roundtable discussions. We got to continue to work with our community leaders, our law enforcement, black lives matter and other stakeholders, to put in place plans of action that can get us back on track so we can deal with coronavirus, deal with the economy, lack of health care and other injustices that plague our nation. You know, this weekend we saw the trump administration try to block racial equity training. A laterer -- letter from omb saying that millions of dollars have been spent on what they call anti-america propaganda that teaches the idea, quote, virtually all white people contribute to racism, how do you respond to that? Martha, as you well know, racism has been the ghost in the room in this country for 400 years. And we see it not just in one system, we see it in all systems. And what we desperately need is a commander in chief who clearly understands that. We got to deal with inequality in all things. In health care, we see the effects of covid-19 on black and brown communities. In education, if we know that the overwhelming majority of people in our prison system, for example, are black and brown, and a majority didn't graduate high school, we've got to deal with injustices in education in lending, in housing and we need a commander in chief who clearly understands and wants to address racism in all systems, until we get to that point we'll continue to see the problems and be plagued by the problems that we're seeing every day right now. Thank you so much for joining us this morning, congresswoman. We appreciate it very much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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