Mayor Eric Johnson shot back at criticisms levied against his new Republican Mayors Association in an interview with Fox News this week.
He noted that his critics never took issue with previous mayoral involvement in partisan Democratic initiatives, claiming the criticisms have only sprouted up since he joined the Republican Party.
As previously reported by The Dallas Express, Johnson recently launched the Republican Mayors Association to unite mayors across the United States who believe in strong pro-public safety policies and fiscal conservatism.
In an op-ed published by The Dallas Morning News last Thursday, the news outlet called Johnson’s initiative a “bad move.”
“[W]hy openly blast Democrats and risk antagonizing left-leaning colleagues on the council, with whom Johnson has often partnered to pass the policies that he touts as successes?” wrote DMN.
“Johnson is playing a game of ‘us versus them’ that might gain him currency with national Republicans,” the op-ed continues. “But here in Dallas, he’s only hurting his ability to be an effective leader.”
Johnson responded to the criticisms, suggesting such arguments were hypocritical.
“It’s funny they didn’t seem to have an issue when my predecessor spoke at the Democratic convention during his first term as mayor, nor did they have a problem with me being a member of the Democratic Mayors Association for the past five years,” he told Fox News.
“All of a sudden, I suppose, it’s an issue because I’m part of the Republican Mayors Association, which I just started to try to help all the Republican mayors in the country come together and for us to make sure that we are doing everything that we can to have fiscally conservative leaders at the local level,” he continued.
“We need that, and we need law and order. We need people who are going to promote safety in our cities,” he argued. “Democrats have controlled most of the major cities in this country for several decades … and you’re seeing what you’re seeing across the country in large part because law and order isn’t taken seriously enough.”
Johnson said policies like defunding the police and not prosecuting certain crimes only serve to “embolden the criminal element in your city and demoralize your police department.”
Furthermore, he claimed that such policies “only come from one side of the political aisle.”
“It’s not really honest for Democrats to say, ‘Well, we don’t all embrace this,'” he said. “Not everyone embraces anything in any party, but the ideas are only coming from your side of the aisle.”
“They’re only taking root on your side of the aisle, and they’re only being implemented by folks who have a ‘D’ behind their name,” Johnson claimed. “That’s why I had to leave the Democratic Party. It doesn’t represent my values at all when it comes to law and order.”
During the same interview, Johnson expounded further upon his view that Democrats do not take violent crime seriously, as covered by The Dallas Express.
Council Member Adam Bazaldua (District 7) previously took issue with such an assertion, claiming that “a lot of the successes [Johnson] has been touting, like Dallas being one of the safest large cities in America, [are] because of policies passed by a majority Democrat city council.”