Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) of losing touch with Baltimore after she said “people will do what they do” regarding vandals who toppled a Christopher Columbus statue there.
Hogan, a Republican, said he was disappointed that Pelosi “has lost touch with the Baltimore community that her family served.”
“While efforts towards peaceful change are welcome, there is no place in Maryland for lawlessness, vandalism, and destruction of public property.”
Hogan said Maryland would not let “mobs ‘do what they do.'” The mob did not represent Baltimore, he added.
The statue of Columbus, an Italian explorer credited with discovering America, was torn down near Little Italy on July 4.
Republican state Del. Kathy Szeliga, who represents part of Baltimore County, also pushed back on Pelosi’s comments, writing in a statement, “She may have grown up in Bmore, but she’s out of touch.”
A voicemail left at Pelosi’s press office wasn’t returned.
Pelosi’s father, Thomas D’Alesandro Jr., represented Maryland in the U.S. House of Representatives and was mayor of Baltimore for 12 years.
Baltimore Mayor Bernard Young, a Democrat, condemned the vandals who tore down the statue at a press conference on Thursday.
“You just cannot erase history. And for those who want to destroy property, and things of that nature, it’s not going to be tolerated. And when we find out who destroyed those statues, they will be held accountable,” the mayor said.
Young lost in the recent Democratic primary and will depart from the office in December.
“We support peaceful protest. This is not a peaceful protest, destruction of property is just unacceptable and those who have destroyed those statues if we identify them they will be brought to justice,” the mayor said.
Statues of Columbus and other historical figures have been targeted by hooligans across the country in riots and protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis on Memorial Day.
While some statues have been removed through legal processes, mobs have ripped down others illegally.
Pelosi said at the press conference Thursday that she’s not big on having monuments and other markers to history.
“I am more interested in what people have accomplished. I think that it is up to the communities to decide what statues they want to see, but I think that it is very important that we take down any of the statues of people who committed treason against the United States of America,” she said.
“It doesn’t diminish my pride in my Italian American heritage and the fact that it was a country discovered by an Italian and named for an Italian, Amerigo Vespucci. So I have that pride, but I don’t care that much about statues,” she added later.