Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign ignored America’s largest police union, and refused to fill out a questionnaire it sends out to presidential candidates on issues important to police.
Chuck Canterbury, president of the National Fraternal Order of Police, said Clinton’s snub “sends a powerful message.” Canterbury was “disappointed and shocked” Clinton’s campaign refused to fill out the questionnaire and will not be meeting with officials from the union, which represents 335,000 members of the law enforcement community, according to The Hill.
The Fraternal Order of Police has a strict process in place for endorsing a presidential candidate. It sends each candidate a comprehensive questionnaire which is to be completed and returned by a certain date, at which point the union distributes the answers to its membership. In September, the state chapters of the union vote, and if a candidate receives a majority of support in at least two-thirds of the states, the candidate receives the union’s endorsement.
Republican nominee Donald Trump met with leaders of the Fraternal Order Friday, and submitted a questionnaire. Trump has been regularly voicing support for police officers and courting their support for November. One of Trump’s major themes on the campaign trail is “law and order.”
According to Canterbury, the union was, “talking to the highest levels of the campaign, and we had all indications that she was going to return the questionnaire, and on the deadline date we were advised that they declined.”
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani told Fox and Friends, “You don’t even go talk to and seek the endorsement of one of the major police unions in the country?” Giuliani asserted the decision not to court members of the law enforcement community makes the point that the Democratic Party has “gone so far to the left now, so far to the left, that it won’t even seek the endorsement of the major police organization in the country.”
The Fraternal Order of Police endorsed Bill Clinton in 1996, George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004, and supported Sen. John McCain in 2008. While President Barack Obama filled out the questionnaire both in 2008 and 2012, the union did not endorse him in 2012 because neither Obama nor former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney were able to secure the majority of votes in two-thirds of the states.
Clinton spokesman Jesse Ferguson didn’t specifically respond to the questionnaire, but said, “Hillary and her team have engaged law enforcement throughout the campaign to listen to ideas and solutions, and she will continue to do so as president.”
“Throughout her career, Hillary Clinton has been committed to our law enforcement officers,” Ferguson said. “She believes we must work together to build on what’s working and to build the bonds of trust between police and the communities they serve — because we are stronger together.”
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