Author and presidential candidate Marianne Williamson joined FOX News Channel's "Fox & Friends" Tuesday morning to discuss her upcoming debate appearance on Thursday, what has surprised her most about politics since she joined the 2020 Democratic primary, and her views on party politics.
BRIAN KILMEADE: What has this whole political process, to this point, done for you and your profile? How has it changed it? Because you are known, but now you’re known in a different way.
MARIANNE WILLIAMSON, AUTHOR: Yes, but I was known in a world where people loved you and bought things from you.
Now I’m in a world where a lot of people hate you and, you know, what are you getting from it.
WILLIAMSON: So, it’s tough out here. But it’s -- what I feel, I would say that I feel that I’ve learned the system is even more corrupt than I knew, and people are even more wonderful than I hoped.
LISA BOOTHE, FOX GUEST-HOST: Well, and to that point, you had told The New Yorker that you didn’t know the left was this mean. You didn’t know that they lied like this. What did you mean by that statement and why’d you say it?
WILLIAMSON: I don’t mean the left in some generic sense. I meant that I --
BOOTHE: Why’d you say the left?
WILLIAMSON: I have seen that on the left, as on the right, there are too many people who do not recognize how important honorable debate is in a democracy. You can disagree with somebody's opinion but that doesn't mean you should be shutting them down or lying about them or misrepresenting their views. That is not a left-right issue. And I’ve, you know, there is a rough-and-tumble in politics.
BOOTHE: Do you feel abandoned by your party?
BOOTHE: Do you feel abandoned by your party?
WILLIAMSON: No I don't feel abandoned by my party. I'm a passionate Democrat. I’m running for the Democratic nomination and, you know, my mother always said if you have a problem with your family, don't talk about it outside the family. I’m not going to come on Fox, and you know, badmouth. You know the DNC has its rules and listen, I signed up for this, and I’m playing by those rules.
My only feeling, and this once again, this would be true about the republican establishment as much as the democratic. I think parties should facilitate the process of democracy, not in any way dictate the process of democracy. So I’m in a situation, for instance where particularly because I’m a non-establishment candidate, people need time to think this through. I think people, it is earlier in the process than, you know the political establishment sometimes, okay, let's get this thing going but that is not necessarily where the voters live.
The voters are still thinking this through. Let's not narrow these choices before we need to.
DOOCY: Well actually you live where the voters live. You have moved, lock, stock and barrel to Des Moines to be there near the first-in-the-nation caucus. You know, for people who are unfamiliar with you, at your gatherings, you know, most candidates like big noisy crowds, your crowds are quiet because they're meditating. They’re thinking about what’s going on.
WILLIAMSON: No. Well, you’re talking about one event I did yesterday. Yes it was in a -- in a space where there was a meditation, and it was very beautiful actually. But I have a lot of noise rallying too. That is part of what America is about, democracy. Yes, it was a good thing.
DOOCY: Right, for people unfamiliar what you stand for --
DOOCY: -- what is your signature issue?
WILLIAMSON: Well you know I think that there are issues underneath the issue. And I think that the deeper issue is that we have lost our sense that we're all on the same team. We're lost -- we've lost our sense. Sometimes we get there when there's a tragedy, like we'll be commemorating tomorrow. We were all just Americans that day. We have to start from that place.
You know, President Eisenhower said, “The American mind at its best is both liberal and conservative.” I grew up in a home, for instance, my family, democrats, leftists, but there was no sense when I was growing up that the other side of the aisle was in any way an enemy or anything like that.
DOOCY: Well where did it come from?
WILLIAMSON: Well, I think it came from a lot of places on both the left and the right. I mean we can -- you know I hope -- if -- if -- if somebody said what would your inauguration day be, I said I hope a day of just, let's give each other emotional amnesty.
WILLIAMSON: You know, we can spend -- there will be people --
DOOCY: I like that, emotional amnesty.
WILLIAMSON: Yes, can we just start over with some forgiveness in all our hearts?
BOOTHE: Marianne, you’ve received a lot of criticism particularly on things that you’ve said about health issues. For instance you say that you support vaccines, but back in June you called mandatory vaccinations Draconian. You also compared it to pro-choice laws about the government not telling people what to do with their bodies. If you support vaccinations, why did you make that comment back in June?
WILLIAMSON: You know, I was living in California, and the conversation there has had to do with mandatory exemptions and so forth and I said at that point --
BOOTHE: Should they be mandatory?
BOOTHE: Should they be mandatory?
WILLIAMSON: Well this is the issue, anytime you have a medical -- a medical intervention, there’s both benefit and risk and government absolutely must come down on the side of public health. So I think the state government in all of those cases has to make its own scientific analysis and do what it feels right for public health. I absolutely support that, and when I made that comment it was a sloppy comment. I regret (ph) that comment.
KILMEADE: So you regret it, you regret the comment?
WILLIAMSON: Yes, I do.
KILMEADE: Do you also have a proposal, a Department of Peace?
KILMEADE: So know that -- we used to have a Department of War. It’s now a secretary. Now it’s the Department of Defense.
KILMEADE: You say, what is that Peace Department going to do?
WILLIAMSON: Well even Donald Rumsfeld said that we must learn to wage peace. And you know, General Mattis said before he left the Defense Department that if you don’t fully fund the State Department, I’m going to have to buy more ammunition.
Now if you look at our defense budgets have (ph) over $750 billion. Then there is the State Department at $40 billion. Within the State Department, $17 billion for humanitarian assistance and less than one billion for peace building. So the way I look at it, we need a holistic approach to society, just like we do to the body. You don't spend all of your resources on medicine.
You also have to also cultivate health because sickness is the absence of health. Health is not the absence of sickness and war is the absence of peace. Peace is not the absence of war. You have to proactively cultivate peace. You can't just endlessly prepare for war and hope you’ll back up into peace.
DOOCY: Sure. Marianne, right now, the -- when you look at polls, Joe Biden is way ahead. Can Joe Biden, if he is the nominee for the Democratic Party, can he beat Donald Trump?
WILLIAMSON: We’re going to make sure that he does because there are millions of us who feel very, very strongly. We want a Democrat in the White House next time (ph).
DOOCY: But is Joe Biden the guy to do it?
BOOTHE: Yes, is he a good candidate?
WILLIAMSON: Well, listen, if he could predict this, hello, I mean if anything -- we know about American politics is that no one can predict, particularly now. But I know I’m --
BOOTHE: Have you been impressed with him?
WILLIAMSON: -- 100 percent committed to the Democrat winning party.
BOOTHE: Have you been impressed with his candidacy so far?
WILLIAMSON: You know, I’m not a candidate who wants to -- I don’t want to bill --
DOOCY: You’re a spiritual advisor; would you give him some spiritual guidance?
WILLIAMSON: I would --
DOOCY: If he’s listening. You know what; I bet they’re going to clip this up. If you had advice for Joe Biden right now, what would it be?
WILLIAMSON: My hope for Joe Biden and my hope for all the candidates is that they can show up as their best in this process. Democracy is served by everybody giving the most that they can of who they are and what they believe. That’s when America wins. So --
WILLIAMSON: -- I wish him well. I wish all of the candidates well.
DOOCY: Are you --
WILLIAMSON: And I’ll be doing my own. They’re going to do their thing on Thursday night.
WILLIAMSON: I hope they all do well and then right after I hope people go to Marianne 2020 and hear what I have to say --
KILMEADE: What are you going to do? You going to be streaming something live?
WILLIAMSON: Yes, but right afterwards.
DOOCY: Well good, kind of the counter point.
WILLIAMSON: I don’t know if counter point. My own offering, that’s what --
WILLIAMSON: -- a debate is.
DOOCY: All right. Check out the book, it’s “A Politics of Love.” Marianne Williamson, we thank you very much.