Missouri Democratic congressional candidate Cori Bush vehemently defended her recent call to “defund the Pentagon” and slammed her critics as ignorant.
Ms. Bush, who defeated longtime Democratic incumbent Rep. Lacy Clay Jr. in the primary, faced a wave of backlash this week after she tweeted, “If you’re having a bad day, just think of all the social services we’re going to fund after we defund the Pentagon.”
“Reprehensible,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy responded in a tweet shared by Donald Trump Jr. “Every single Democrat should disavow this statement from @CoriBush.”
Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican criticized Ms. Bush’s comments as “irresponsible and unacceptable.”
Ms. Bush, a Black Lives Matter activist who is expected to win Missouri’s longtime Democratic 1st Congressional District, tweeted a lengthy defense of her views, saying such criticism is part and parcel of being a Black woman in politics.
“Donald Trump Jr. and Kevin McCarthy are attacking me. A local editorial board calls me ignorant,” she wrote. “As a Black woman running for office, I’m used to these kinds of attacks. But let’s talk about ignorance. Let’s talk about what actually keeps our communities safe.
“Militarization makes up 64% of our federal budget,” she continued. “Medicare & Health are 6%. Education is 5%. Social Security, Unemployment, and Labor together are 3%. Ignorance is thinking those priorities keep our families safe.
“220K+ people, including 1,700 healthcare workers, have died from COVID-19 due to our government’s inability to protect its citizens & pass pandemic relief,” she wrote. “Ignorance is Trump’s Pentagon taking $1 billion in funding designated for PPE production to make jet engine parts.”
“The Department of Defense has never passed an independent audit, yet we continue to give them money unchecked. Ignorance is the Trump administration *INCREASING* the Pentagon budget by more than $100 billion since he was elected,” she added. “Ignorance is paying Lockheed Martin more than $1 trillion over the course of a 60 year contract for a dysfunctional F-35 program. Ignorance is letting their CEO take a $20 million dollar salary while military veterans go homeless.”
Ms. Bush went on to blame people’s ignorance for her being labeled radical.
“Yes I want to change our priorities,” she wrote. “We can fund Medicare for All, guarantee housing, and enact a Green New Deal. We can make sure no veteran goes unhoused or without care. We can have a government that actually works for us.”
“Ignorance is insulting my intelligence because you’ve never had a Black Lives Matter activist like me making decisions in Congress. Ignorance is thinking I’m just a protestor or a single mom. But what they don’t realize is that those are my superpowers,” she concluded. “At least 3 generations of my family have served this country in the military. My father’s been a public servant his entire life. I’m going to Congress to build a country they’ll be proud of.”
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