NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – Duane “Dog” Chapman and his wife, Beth Chapman, stars of the former A&E Network reality show Dog The Bounty Hunter, told PJM that President Trump’s plan to end “catch-and-release” for undocumented immigrants should apply to everyone who commits a crime in the United States as a way to “take back control of our streets.”
The Chapmans, who also starred in Dog and Beth: On the Hunt on CMT, came to the Conservative Political Action Conference to promote their effort to draft Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke to run for Senate against incumbent Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.).
The Chapmans were asked if they are satisfied with Trump’s job performance on immigration issues so far in his term.
“I am encouraged and I am really liking what I see, and I’m really hoping he doesn’t just limit his catch-and-release policy to immigration. I hope that catch and release ends in America – bail reform has been the most tragic thing that’s happened to our country in I don’t know how long,” Beth Chapman told PJM. “We’re reducing crimes, rape of an intoxicated person is now a nonviolent misdemeanor, bringing a bomb to a school is now a misdemeanor, giving a firearm to a gang member is now a nonviolent misdemeanor. All of these things are just crimes that are being overlooked and they are just released back into our communities.”
“You know, we have to pay attention to what we are doing and where we are putting our children. So we really voted for Trump and we got behind this administration because we really need someone to clean up the Department of Justice. We need to put a good man like Jeff Sessions, our attorney general, and we need to take back control of our streets,” she added.
Duane Chapman said he agreed with his wife’s comments about Trump’s performance.
“Exactly. One thing we do share is political opinions. We’re almost exactly the same. Everything else we’re the complete opposite,” he said. “One thing we really are together in is our political beliefs.”
Beth continued, “We’re on the streets every day. We see what’s going on in neighborhoods. We’re inside people homes. We see poverty firsthand. We understand what drugs and violence are doing to small communities and rural areas, so we see it every day. So we have just a slightly different perspective than most people because we don’t just read about in the newspaper, you know, we’re knee-deep in it.”
The Chapmans were asked for their response to Democrats who argue that Trump’s call for tougher enforcement of U.S. immigration laws on migrants who cross the border illegally is inhumane.
“When people talk bad about me on different sites, Twitter, Facebook, I don’t read it so I’m not listening,” Duane said. “I’m seeing action by this president and like she said, we’re on the front lines in America.”
Beth said everyone should come to the U.S. legally so they are fully documented.
“I think anyone who wants to come and share the American dream is more than welcome to come to America to do that, but right now in this time of trouble and war and danger I think we have to be very careful and very selective as to who is coming into this country and who is staying in this country. And those that are not documented that we don’t even know anything about or know where they are or anything like that, I think those pose high dangers to our society, so I do agree,” she said, referring to Trump’s orders for more border and interior enforcement.
“I don’t know how far those things are going to go, you know, we wait and see like everybody else, but we’re just hoping he’s able to do it in a very humane way. I don’t understand where people come and say it’s inhumane and this and that because no one told you to get in a boat and come over here across the water. No one said sneak over. No one said sneak under in a tunnel or in a coyote truck. I think those things are far more humane than asking you simply to come into our country legally,” she added.
The Chapmans held a reception at CPAC to garner support for a potential Clarke Senate campaign. Clarke made an appearance at their CPAC event and thanked all of his supporters. He has not officially announced his candidacy.
“The reason I want him to run is his strong law-and-order sense. Is he going to? Who knows. Would he be a candidate? One of the best,” Duane said.
“We need strong law and order in this country. We have crime that is just ridding our streets everywhere and I feel like a lot of the police departments don’t feel like they’re backed up and I don’t feel like they feel strength, and I draw strength from Sheriff Clarke,” Beth said.
“I’ve been where he has been a speaker several times and I’ve listened to how he speaks about common-sense crime and punishment, and we need those types of people in our statehouse. We need people representing this country who understand how to keep citizens safe and how to keep the dangerous element out.”