During an at times confrontational exchange, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace tried to get Republican Representative Jim Banks of Indiana to comment on GOP opposition to pandemic relief and other legislation intended to help his constituents.
But Banks proved more interested in reciting anti-Democratic rhetoric targeting women of color and the Speaker of the House.
You can see an excerpt here:
After showing footage of President Joe Biden addressing funding for emergency services, the Fox News host tried to get Banks to comment on Republican's reluctance and possible alternative plans to address the needs of people in the United States.
"Congressman Banks, you voted against that package, against that $350 billion, just like every other Republican in the House and Senate."
"So, can't you make the argument that it's you and the Republicans who are defunding the police?"
"Not at all, Chris. Let's go back and look at the record over the last year, the comments that Democrats have made, from Rashida Tlaib who said that… "
But Wallace interrupted Banks with a fact check.
"No-no-no, wait, sir."
"Respectfully, I heard you make that point, but I'm asking you—there's $350 billion in this package the President says can be used for policing."
Banks continued to try to avoid answering by talking over Wallace, but the host persisted.
"I've heard your point about the last year."
"But you and every other Republican voted against this $350 billion."
Banks again countered with whataboutisms targeting Democrats—singling out Muslim Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota—instead of addressing Wallace's statement of facts about the GOP voting record.
"When Rep. Omar says that policing is rooted in evil, and Nancy Pelosi compares police officers to Nazi storm troopers, it makes it very difficult for police departments around the country to recruit police officers."
People were unsurprised Banks could only offer attacks on Democrats instead of examples of Republican accomplishments.
Others pointed out Republican and Fox News talking points citing increased gas prices and a rise in crime in 2021 versus 2020 ignore the reason prices and crime were low.
Wallace also asked Banks about gun control in relation to crime.
Wallace cited comments by Cedric Richmond, a senior White House aide who suggested increased access to guns contributes to crime rates, not cuts to police budgets or officer morale as Banks claimed.
The Fox host asked:
"Is there any gun control that you can support?"
Banks again dodged the question.
The Indiana Republican regurgitated rhetoric linking crime to Democratic criticism of police violence and abuse of authority.
"What I'm saying is if we are serious about reducing violent crime in America, then Joe Biden will go on a national public relations campaign to admonish the radical voices in the Democrat party that stigmatize police officers and law enforcement."
Whether Republican rhetoric alone will win over documented Democratic plans, proposals and concrete actions won't be known until 2022's midterm elections.
But it doesn't appear the GOP will be deviating from their longtime strategy of deflection and misdirection anytime soon.