Former DNC Chairwoman, Donna Brazile, sat down with Guy Benson to discuss the El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH mass shootings, and how gun violence has affected her family recently.
Guy Benson Oh we are more than halfway there, we are almost there. On this Friday thank you for listening. I’m Guy Benson tune in tonight I’ll be on Martha MacCallum show 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time. “The Story” on Fox News Channel. Joining me in studio up in New York is our friend Donna Brazile. She’s a former chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee also a Fox News Contributor. Donna, good to have you here.
Donna Brazile Hey It’s great to hear your voice Guy.
Guy Benson Let me ask you this before we get into politics and all that we were just off the air chatting in the break about how it’s been a tough week for the country… A long, kind of grueling week in terms of the news cycle. And I’m wondering after a week like this what does Donna Brazil do to unwind a little bit.
Donna Brazile Well it’s been a very difficult period for me not only because of the news coming out of Dayton and El Paso but the news that came out of New Orleans when I learned as I was flying up to New York that my cousin she’s not a first or second cousin she’s a third cousin nine years old was shot by a stray bullet at my home. Her family was you know outdoors celebrating having a good time two guys walked up in the neighborhood started shooting at each other started shooting at the ground and wanted the bullets of course landed in her leg. She’s in a hospital she’s going to make a recovery. But you know Guy my family has been in the state of Louisiana for over 300 years we’ve never had any one shot. It really brought home to me this gun violence whether it’s mass shooting domestic terrorism or just the weekends that people just want to sit down and relax whether you live in Chicago, New Orleans, Washington D.C. and New York and all of a sudden there’s a stray bullet. There are people who get shot just gone about their day. So it’s been a week where I’ve spent more time praying. There were days this week that I just wanted to cry because I was thinking about those children especially the children down in Texas. You know the children who you know will never see their parents the children that today are still feeling the effects of the shooting. So it’s been it’s been a hard week. I started off the week listen to the president call for healing and I’ve tried all week to watch my words watch my my tweeting on social media and to be quiet and to be reflective of how we as Americans can come together.
Guy Benson Donna if you don’t mind me asking you mentioned your cousin 9 years old. Can you give us her first name just if anyone wants to pray for her in the audience?
Donna Brazile Janay Brazile. She is 9 years old. She’s at Children’s Hospital. She’s a wonderful little girl. And you know the first thing she asks her mom when she was an ambulance? She said, “will I be able to go to church tomorrow.” A little girl who got shot and her first thought was to go to church. So.
Guy Benson And the prognosis you said sounds good at least initially, thank God.
Donna Brazile Well of course he’s going to it’s gonna take weeks for her to recover. Many of my friends we’re going to help her with physical therapy we’re going to make sure that she has what what she needs in terms of wheelchair so that she can go back to school. But really we just want her to take it easy I mean bone fragments she’s had surgeries she’s had blood transfusion she survived… But you know the worst is is yet to come as she try to get back on her feet and understand what’s happened until they put braces in her legs. She’s too young to understand the effects of what’s happening. But we’re going to continue to pray for her. Pray for her family. Her older sister was preparing to go off to college. And she wanted to stay home to help her mom with her siblings and we you know we’re encouraging her to go off to college because the best thing that can happen right now is the family you know sticks together and continue to heal from this tragic incident that happened in my own family.
Guy Benson Well Donna, I’m so sorry to hear about that and we will keep your cousin in our prayers. Nine years old and that is that is just tough. And as you said it’s personal for you on the heels of what is not as personal but still quite difficult given everything that’s happened in this country the actual events themselves. And then the extremely acrimonious debate and blame storming across both sides of the aisle it’s been dispiriting on a number of levels. Donna, I do want to talk about politics. Let’s let’s turn to the 2020 Democratic primary. Joe Biden just floating right along there as the front runner despite getting nicked and bruised up a little bit here and there and some of the debates I think the consensus was his second debate was better than his first debate. What is your sense right now as we’re heading toward September and the next round of debates about where this race stands overall?
Donna Brazile I still believe that the race for the nomination is wide open. Look Joe Biden came into this race a little late in terms of when the other candidates made the announcement but he’s widely known. He is well respected within Democratic Party circles. There are some polls that show that he’s leading the president in several states as we speak. But as you well know this is a volatile election season. We don’t know at least I don’t know as a Democratic Party operative I’ll get a chance to see all of the candidates later this month in San Francisco when we meet for our annual summer gathering. But I still think it’s wide open. Several of the candidates are coming up in the polls. Elizabeth Warren is solid. Bernie Sanders is still making waves. Kamala Harris she’s she she didn’t have a great debate performance but her numbers look good. But as you well know a lot depends on what happened it happens in those first four early states and we’ll see if Joe Biden can continue to ride the tide as these candidates go after him his record and also his ability to lead us into the future.
Guy Benson There are 20 people on stage for CNN in those last two debates. It’s going to be harder to get on stage for the next round on ABC News because they’ve imposed more stringent regulations about the thresholds that these campaigns have to meet to get there. If you were advising, Donna, some of these campaigns where the candidate has not gotten really much traction– they’re at 0 percent, 1 percent, something like that. At what point would you advise them to be part of the winnowing that’s inevitable of this field which is still quite large and unwieldy with only one drop out Eric Swalwell everyone else is still in it.
Donna Brazile Well I try not to give advice because as you well know as the former chair, my job is to just sit on the sidelines. It’s hard to sit on the sidelines when I know exactly what happens at this period.
Guy Benson If you’re a commentator now right? You’re working for us. You can maybe go out a little bit on a limb.
Donna Brazile Yeah I know why not. But look here is what I would say if you’re not able to raise the money, and get the kind of support that you need and build the kind of platform that will enable you to win the nomination I think by by Labor Day you should take a second look and there’s no question by before Thanksgiving I give it to Columbus Day I’m just I’m a holiday girl I love holidays and I’m a I’m a part time professors and all at the holidays. I would say bye bye Columbus Day if you haven’t been able to gain enough support for the for the fourth debate, OK then maybe it’s time for you to pack it up and throw your support to another candidate. Mike Gravel just dropped out. I know you’re gonna say, “Donna who?” Yeah. Mike Gravel ran in the previous cycle, he decide to drop out and throw his support to Senator Sanders. Eric Swalwell has not thrown his support as you well know in the last two weeks. Tom Steyer got in. So the race is still fluid. More people might come through the door. We don’t know Ronald Reagan made his entrance in November of 1980 I believe, 1979 gone to the 1980 race. So let’s let’s see what happens. But there’s no question that by Thanksgiving sitting around the dinner table some of these candidates will have to say Honey I’m home.
Guy Benson Donna, I want to play for you a sound bite cut 28. This is Joe Biden in Iowa yesterday getting a lot of attention people are talking about this gaffe. Listen.
Former Vice President Joe Biden **SOUND BITE** Another thing we should do is you should challenge these students. We should challenge students in these schools. They ave advanced placement programs in these schools. We have this notion that somehow if you’re poor you cannot do it. Poor kids you’re just as bright and just as talented white kids… Wealthy kids, black kids, Asain kids, but think how we think about it.
Guy Benson Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids. And then he corrected himself. Is this a slip of the tongue that means nothing or is this something that might damage Biden.
Donna Brazile Well I do believe it was a slip of the tongue. He Joe Biden first of all is playing with a full deck. I just want to correct that I know the president said that he’s playing with a full deck. Was it a slip of the tongue? I think so. He corrected himself, we all make this kind of mistake some time. You know Joe Biden has always said you know every child deserve both a head start and a healthy start. Kids born into poverty should have the ability to rise. I know Joe Biden. I know what what he was trying to say. It was an unfortunate error but I don’t think it’s going to hurt him, and I tell you why because most people like me we know him. I mean we know him. I’ve grown up. I’ve known Joe Biden for 30 years, over half of my life I’ve known Joe Biden. I’ve known Joe Biden like many other politicians including the one who occupies the White House President Donald Trump. And notice I call him President Donald Trump. I didn’t call him Donald I didn’t call him Trump I call him President. We often forget that people make mistakes. And was it a mistake that you know he should avoid in the future? Absolutely because it can be taken out of context and proven in people. I’ve seen it in the black community this morning say hey is Joe showing some signs of racism. And I’ve seen it you know on the national news like hey was this just a slip of the tongue or something else. Hey it’s Joe Biden. Relax.
Guy Benson It is definitely Joe Biden. Donna last question. Biden was specifically asked to call or was pressed basically to call President Trump A white supremacist. He declined to do so. He said I’m not going to go there you’re trying to pull that particular sound bite out of me. I’m not going to give it to you. Kamala Harris sort of dodged that same question other people like Elizabeth Warren saying absolutely yes. Donald Trump is a white supremacist. What’s your take on that question and how Democratic candidates are responding to it.
Donna Brazile First of all I’m really upset. You know when I return home from my quote unquote “summer vacation” I really wish I was back on a little small boat. You know gone around the Greek islands.
Guy Benson Oh yeah that’s nice. We should talk about that another time.
Donna Brazile Oh my God, Guy, if I have to give you any advice it is take time for yourself because you only have one life. And I’m so grateful that I had an opportunity to go to so many islands, so many places where my faith teaches me to understand you know my path and my future so, that aside… This conversation about race and racism, domestic terrorism, white supremacy, white nationalism, it is that I am profoundly saddened as an American. The reason why is to point fingers and the plate is so-called blame game. President Trump had nothing to do with the maniac, and I’m being gracious here, the maniac who shot up a Wal-Mart store. He had nothing to do with the person who shot up you know the bar in Dayton. This is unbecoming of a country. The president of United States you know should not be blamed for you know these individual killers. But what we have to hold each other responsible for is our tone. We all have to set a tone. These are children who are committing these murders, children. 19 21 22 children. We need to set a tone for our kids for our future for the values that we share as Americans. And you know we like these gotcha questions. Hey are you a racist or you.. I don’t like that. I’m black, yes I’m black. That’s who I am but that’s not everything. You don’t know anything else about me other than the color of my skin. That’s not how we should do it. I’m speaking as Donna. I’m not speaking as a Democrat. I’m speaking to Donna. I want people to get to know me. Hey you know how not everybody’s going to like me but I guarantee you it is if you eat my gumbo you would.
Guy Benson And it sounds like if you go on vacation with you or you’d like you even better.
Donna Brazile Oh my God.
Guy Benson That Greek Isles. I like you said you only live once it’s YOLO Friday advice with Donna Brazile. Also some real wisdom mixed in in that last answer about race and the way that we talk to each other. And Donna let me just say once more that our thoughts go out to your family and let’s hope that your cousin that precious little 9 year old girl has a very speedy recovery. Donna I hope you can find some peace and a little bit of relaxation this weekend.
Donna Brazile I will. Let me just say one last thing in 140 people on the boat. I estimate about 100 of us were Americans and there was a earthquake while we were there. And you know what we did. We checked on each other. Think about that. We were Americans abroad enjoying our vacation and we checked on each other. I love my country. I love the Lord and thank you Guy for having me on today. Thank you.
Guy Benson On that note thank you Donna. We’ll take a break and wrap things up next on THE GUY BENSON show.