Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee fired back at Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on Sunday for what he called "plain lunacy" after she blamed President Trump for the growing violence in Portland and characterized the federal presence in the city as "political theater."
"That is lunacy. It is just plain lunacy for her to say something like that," Huckabee told "Fox & Friends Weekend." "I don't know where people get the ideas that their states are better off, that their citizens are happy with the idea of anarchy and mobs controlling. Elected officials are elected to keep peace, to create a sense of social order, and they are not there to see that they can applaud and say dumb things," he went on.
Brown made the comment last week after federal agents, including the U.S. Marshals Special Operations Group and an elite U.S. Customs and Border Protection team based on the U.S.-Mexico border, entered Portland to protect federal property, a move strongly opposed by Mayor Ted Wheeler.
"This political theater from President Trump has nothing to do with public safety," Brown said, as the Willamette Week reported. "The president is failing to lead this nation. Now, he is deploying federal officers to patrol the streets of Portland in a blatant abuse of power by the federal government."
Brown echoed Wheeler, who maintained that a small group of violent activists was drowning out the message of peaceful protesters in the city, and argued that the federal presence in the city exacerbated an already tense situation and ordered them to leave.
“Keep your troops in your own buildings, or have them leave our city," Wheeler said Friday.
"Federal government has every right, they have the responsibility to protect that property, and to keep some semblance of the civil rights of all American citizens in place," Huckabee said. "If the local officials weren't doing it, then the federal government has to do it."
Federal buildings did not fall under the jurisdiction of local governments, Huckabee explained, arguing that the federal government had "not just the right but they have the responsibility to protect the property that doesn't belong to the people of Oregon — it belongs to the people of America.
"I have an interest… you have an interest in what's happening in Portland on federal property," Huckabee explained, "and frankly, I want my property protected. I don't want these goons going and burning stuff down and breaking windows," he went on, "'cuz guess what, you and me, we have to pay for it to get replaced."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.