Other than offering brief criticism of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) branding President Donald Trump and his Republican allies “enemies of the state,” GOPers in Congress aren’t saying much.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said “in 2016, they called you ‘deplorables.’ Now, Nancy Pelosi calls all Republicans ‘domestic enemies.’ Never forget, they despise you. And they don’t even try to hide it.”
Scalise was referring to the June 14, 2017, attack by a supporter of socialist independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, James Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois, who fired multiple rounds from a high-powered rifle at a group of Republicans practicing for the annual congressional baseball game.
Scalise was seriously wounded, then barely survived his first night in the hospital, underwent three major surgeries, and now carries permanent marks of his wounds.
Two U.S. Capitol policemen and two Republican congressional staffers were also wounded in the attack before law enforcement officials killed Hodgkinson.
Earlier today, House Republicans tweeted about Pelosi’s comments, saying “this type of rhetoric has no place in Congress.”
A scattering of other House Republicans tweeted responses to Pelosi, most notably Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) who, noting he was with Scalise during the 2017 shooting, called on Pelosi to apologize.
But a spokesman for Pelosi did not respond to an email from The Epoch Times if the Speaker planned on issuing an apology or otherwise walking back her comment.
Similarly, a spokesman for McCarthy did not respond to an email from The Epoch Times asking if any further responses to Pelosi’s comments should be expected from House Republicans.
A search of tweets by members of Congress and congressional aides compiled by Legistorm for the term “enemies of the state” produced no others.
Pelosi’s comment came Monday during an interview on MSNBC, in which she said:
“We take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. And sadly, the domestic enemies to our voting system and honoring our Constitution are right at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with their allies in the Congress of the United States … It’s shameful, enemies of the state.”
Republican strategists outside of Congress weren’t so reticent about commenting.
Potomac Strategy Group President Matt Mackowiak told The Epoch Times Pelosi “should be censured. It’s one of the most outrageous things any Speaker has ever said.”
Prior to becoming a highly sought-after Republican campaign strategist, Mackowiak worked for two Republican senators and for President George W. Bush at the White House and at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Brian Darling, former senior counsel to Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and director of Senate congressional relations for the Heritage Foundation, told The Epoch Times that he was not surprised by Pelosi’s “despicable” comment.
“They are hell bent on revenge and, despite the bipartisan rhetoric at the Democratic National Convention, Democrats will treat former Trump officials and Republican lawmakers as ‘enemies of the state,’” Darling said.
“They have created a manufactured U.S. Postal Service conspiracy theory and the next step is to dehumanize Republicans in the eyes of the American public by calling them enemies,” he said.
But Darling, who heads Liberty Government Affairs, thinks Pelosi has made a huge mistake that will benefit Trump and Republicans in November.
“Much like Hillary Clinton calling Trump supporters ‘deplorables,’ the Pelosi statement will be a rallying cry for Republicans to protect themselves from the radical elements within the Democratic Party seemingly now controlling the leadership. Pelosi’s statement might just be a tipping point in the election to push many undecided voters into the Republican camp,” he said.
Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist told The Epoch Times he is not aware of any GOP plans to protest Pelosi’s comments, and he noted that “the Establishment media would not cover it.”
Contact Mark Tapscott at Mark.Tapscott@epochtimes.nyc