Democrat Senator Tammy Duckworth (IL) spoke with host Dana Bash on Sunday during CNN’s “State of the Union”, saying she is open to listening to arguments for removing statues of founding fathers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
ABC reported that Duckworth is on a shortlist to be vetted for Joe Biden’s running mate.
Dana Bash asked Duckworth: “Senator, I know that you support change in the name of military bases named after Confederate leaders, but there are leaders like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson who were slave owners. And some people are demanding their monuments come down, too. In your view, where does it end? Should statues, for example, of George Washington come down?”
Senator Duckworth dodged answering Dana Bash’s question about removing statues, and instead focused on President Donald Trump’s speech at Mount Rushmore.
“Well, let me just say we should start off by having a national dialogue on it at some point,” Duckworth replied. “But right now we’re in the middle of a global pandemic. And one of our countries that are opposed to us, Russia, has put a bounty on American troops’ heads.”
“What really struck me about this speech that the president gave at Mount Rushmore was that he spent more time worried about honoring dead Confederates than he did talking about the lives of our 130,000 Americans who lost their lives to COVID-19, or by warning Russia off of the bounties they’re putting on Americans’ heads,” she said. Continued Below
“His priorities are all wrong here,” Duckworth continued. “He should be talking about what we’re going to do to overcome this pandemic. What are we going to do to push Russia back? And instead, he had no time for that. He spent all his time talking about dead traitors.”
Dana Bash pressed the Democratic Senator again over removing the statues. “That may be true, but I don’t think anyone would call George Washington a traitor. And there are moves by some to remove statues of him. Is that a good idea?” she asked.
“I think we should listen to everybody,” Duckworth responded. “I think we should listen to the argument there, but remember that the president at Mount Rushmore was standing on ground that was stolen from Native Americans who had actually been given that land during a treaty. Video Below
It is worth noting, South Dakota was bought by the United States during the Louisiana Purchase. The United States bought 828,000 square miles of land from France in 1803. The price was 15 million dollars, and Thomas Jefferson was the president at the time of the Louisiana Purchase. The land belongs to the United States.
The purchased territory included the whole of today’s Arkansas, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Nebraska, parts of Minnesota and Louisiana west of Mississippi River, including New Orleans, big parts of North and northeastern New Mexico, South Dakota, northern Texas, some parts of Wyoming, Montana, and Colorado as well as portions of Canadian provinces Alberta and Saskatchewan, as reported by History.net.
Senator Tammy Duckworth’s official remarks:
"His priorities are all wrong," Sen. Tammy Duckworth reacts to Pres. Trump's Mt. Rushmore speech where he defended Confederate monuments. "He should be talking about what we're going to do to overcome this pandemic… he spent all his time talking about dead traitors." #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/eWEq750ZPy
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) July 5, 2020
Last month, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said she is “all for” putting historical statues up for review and said we should “subject everything to scrutiny”.
During a Washington Post live stream interview, the House Speaker suggested: “I would say rather than tearing down and defacing, why don’t we just have a review– have a review, in terms of let’s take it down safely, so that we’re not hurting anybody when the statue comes down, costing more money to get rid of it, or get rid of the defacing of something that might not– shouldn’t have been.”
“But I think– I’m all for it! Let’s review this. Why are we glorifying the sins of the past? That doesn’t mean– [be]cause Thomas Jefferson or George Washington, or others were slave owners that should undermine what they did for our country,” Pelosi said. … “But you know what? Subject everything to scrutiny. And make a decision.”
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) June 25, 2020