Reprinted with permission from American Independent
Democratic lawmakers are up in arms after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said it would "be hard not to hit" Nancy Pelosi if he were to win the Speaker's gavel in the 2022 midterms, with a growing number calling for him to either resign or apologize for his remark.
"I want you to watch Nancy Pelosi hand me that gavel. It'll be hard not to hit her with it," McCarthy said at a July 31 event with Tennessee Republican state lawmakers, according to audio published by local Tennessee reporter Vivian Jones.
As the audio spread, Democratic lawmakers condemned McCarthy's remark, saying his violent joke is not funny at a time when lawmakers are already receiving death threats associated with the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.
"It's been 24 hours since @gopleader McCarthy threatened violence against @SpeakerPelosi. RT if he should apologize or resign," Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) tweeted Sunday night.
Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) also called for McCarthy's resignation tweetingSunday night that McCarthy "is now threatening to assault the Speaker of the House."
"His lies about the violence on January 6th are disgusting," McGovern added. "I've said it before & I'll say it again — he should RESIGN!!"
Multiple other lawmakers said McCarthy must apologize.
"@GOPLeader, not only are jokes about violence not funny, they can incite violent & tragic outcomes like January 6th," Rep. Donald McEachin (D-VA) tweeted. "This type of behavior is unbecoming of an elected official & diminishes Congress as an institution. You need to apologize & stop the reckless, partisan rhetoric."
A number of other comments made the connection to the insurrection at the Capitol, which McCarthy at one point blamed Trump for but later walked back as he tried to stonewall any investigations into the violent attack.
"Not shocking to see @GOPLeader invoke violence against @SpeakerPelosi while he continues to deny the danger she and so many others, on both sides of the aisle, were in on January 6th," Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) tweeted. "He owes the Speaker an apology."
Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) also said McCarthy's comment "encourages more violence like we saw on January 6th."
Pelosi herself has yet to comment. However, Drew Hammill, her deputy chief of staff, tweeted, "A threat of violence to someone who was a target of a #January6th assassination attempt from your fellow Trump supporters is irresponsible and disgusting."
The relationship between Pelosi and McCarthy has been fraught in recent weeks.
Since Pelosi rejected two of McCarthy's picks for a House committee to probe the insurrection, McCarthy has been wrongly blaming Pelosi for the insurrection. He did despite once blaming Trump and even as Pelosi was a target of the Trump-supporting mob on Jan. 6.
And he's also wrongly blamed her for new mask-wearing requirements on the House side of Capitol Hill, which were not put in place by Pelosi but rather by Congress' attending physician as cases of COVID-19 skyrocket.
McCarthy recently revealed that close to one-third of the House Republican conference has refused to get vaccinated as he argued against the new mask mandate. Every Democratic lawmaker on Capitol Hill is vaccinated.
Pelosi called McCarthy a "moron" for his anti-mask comments.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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