Fox News host Brian Kilmeade said Tuesday that the attempt by protesters to topple the statue of President Andrew Jackson was symbolic of the actual nineteenth century leader.
“They can defile him but they couldn’t take him down,” Kilmeade told Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
The morning news host and author of a book on Jackson called the leader “an American success story” who had an era named after him.” (RELATED: Toppling Historical Statues ‘A Healthy Expression’ Of Rage)
“That’s why there’s a statue. You don’t want to make America better. You want to destroy our past because it doesn’t live up to the lofty standards of the shirtless skateboarders who want to petition and protest and try to intimidate reporters on a nightly basis,” he’s said.
Numerous statues of historical figures have been toppled across the United States as part of a campaign to highlight alleged systemic racism and white supremacy. Protesters first targeted statues of Confederate leaders but quickly moved on to other famous Americans.
Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Sunday that the statue of President Theodore Roosevelt would be removed from the entrance of the Museum of Natural History. Protesters Friday tore down statues of President and Civil War Gen. Ulysses S. Grant as well as American anthem composer Francis Scott Key in San Francisco. (RELATED: ‘Not Doing Their Job’: Trump Criticizes DC Police As Confederate Statue Toppled Right Outside Their Headquarters)
Kilmeade noted that the Washington D.C. police arrived to stop the protesters from bringing down the statue though he wondered what “took them so long.”
Speaking of those who tried to bring down the statue, he said, “These people aren’t trying to make our country better” and said they might learn from Jackson’s story as a man who fought in the Revolutionary War as a teenager and became “a lawyer, an attorney general, a judge, a congressman, a major general … and then go on to be a two-term president.”
Kilmeade admitted that Jackson made mistakes as president but said, “They never told us the people in our social studies books were perfect. They told us they were important to the makeup of America. America gets better and better and better. We never said we were perfect. What’s great about us as we try to be, and that’s what Jackson was. Jackson was an everyman.”
The co-host of “Fox & Friends” encouraged the activists in the street to “get a PhD. Don’t take down a statue. I’m just so glad they made a statue as tough as the person because they couldn’t get him down with chains, they couldn’t get him down with the ropes. They can defile him, but they couldn’t take him down.”
He called Jackson “a pretty special American that deserves a statue, deserves a plaque, deserves your respect. That’s all — be respectful of our past.”