Dem mayor blasted for 'ridiculously' blaming deceased GOP president for deadly July 4 weekend gun violence

The Richard Nixon Foundation, and many conservatives on social media, are firing back at Chicago’s Democratic Mayor Brandon Johnson after he seemingly placed partial blame on former President Richard Nixon, who died 30 years ago, for Chicago’s weekend of gun violence.

“What we’ve experienced over the weekend is unacceptable and we didn’t get here overnight. And everyone knows that. Let’s tell the full story of what happened,” Johnson said during a Monday press conference after 19 were killed and over 100 were injured by shootings in Chicago over the weekend. 

“Black death has unfortunately been accepted in this country for a very long time. We had a chance 60 years ago to get at the root causes. And people mocked President Johnson, and we ended up with Richard Nixon.”

In a statement to Fox News Digital, Jim Byron, president and CEO of the Richard Nixon Foundation, pushed back on the mayor’s claim.

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“Richard Nixon was a champion of civil rights as Vice President and as President,” Byron said about Nixon, who died in 1994. “The record is clear.”

“Unfortunately there are many misconceptions about Richard Nixon, but perceptions of years ago are now being reconsidered as we see renewed interest in studying and understanding his life and legacy in full. As of now, our correction of the record is racing toward one million views on X alone.”

Byron continued, “What is happening in Chicago is heartbreaking, and I imagine the people of Chicago want leaders who take responsibility and work together to solve problems rather than try and pass the blame, in this case ridiculously and gratuitously.”

Byron was referring to a social media post on Monday from the foundation responding to a clip of Johnson’s comments posted by conservative digital strategist Greg Price.

“Mayor Johnson’s reference to President Nixon is gratuitous and the facts are not on his side in his characterization of Richard Nixon and the Nixon administration’s civil rights record,” the Nixon Foundation posted on X.

The text thread went on to point out the various moves the Nixon administration took to promote civil rights, including desegregating schools, civil rights funding, an executive order “calling on federal government agencies to apply equal-opportunity policies to every aspect of federal personnel policies and practices,” and support for Black-owned businesses.

“Long before first black president, Nixon forged strong civil rights legacy,” the headline for a blog post from the foundation read.  

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Johnson’s comment also drew strong criticism from conservatives on social media.

“There were 109 shootings in Chicago this past weekend, so, of course, the Mayor blames RICHARD NIXON,” comedian Tim Young posted on X. “You can’t make this stuff up.”

“The last Republican mayor of Chicago was elected in 1915,” conservative commentator Stephen L. Miller posted on X. “Nixon was two years old.”

“It was a short drive from ‘defund the police’ to ‘no cash bail’ to ‘I blame Richard Nixon,’” conservative commentator David Burge posted on X.

Fox News Digital reached out to Mayor Johnson’s office for comment but did not receive a response.

Fox News Digital’s Matteo Cina contributed to this report

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