While hosting a late-night edition of the CNN Special Report program on Wednesday, Jake Tapper asked Democratic Representative Eric Smalwell for his reaction to the shooting earlier that day of Republicans engaged in baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, by posing a surprising question: “Do you worry that the Left has gone too far in its rhetoric?”
“I worry that anyone would think that the way to express themselves would be through violence,” the member of the Democrats’ team replied after stating that the day had been “awful, just awful” for him because James Hodgkinson had vented his hatred of President Donald Trump by using a rifle to shoot Majority Whip Steve Scalise and three other people early that morning.
The host of The Lead weekdays on CNN began the discussion by introducing Smalwell as a representative of the San Francisco, California, area and a member of “the House Intelligence Committee and other assignments” who also had been preparing for the charity baseball game on Thursday.
The Democrat then noted:
You get up early, go to practice, and you never think something like this could happen.
You know, we see police cars out there from time to time, and we always joke: Who would come attack us this early morning? And now you see why they’re there.
“So we’re all just hopeful that the majority whip, his staff and the officers recover,” Smalwell added, “and that tomorrow night, we can come together for a good cause and hopefully, this can be a bridge to more working together in the future.”
The CNN host then stated: “The shooter’s Facebook feed was full of a lot of anti-Republican rhetoric and anti-Trump rhetoric, much of it reposted. He wrote: ‘Trump is a traitor.' 'Trump has destroyed our democracy.' 'It’s time to destroy Trump and company.' Also, 'Trump is guilty and should go to prison for treason.’”
“To be frank,” Tapper asserted, “it’s the kind of thing you might see on poster boards at a ‘Resistance’ rally. Do you worry that the Left has gone too far in its rhetoric?”
“The beauty of this country is our protections of speech,” Smalwell responded, and “we see from time to time on both sides it turns into violence and it should be roundly condemned whoever the person is, whether they’re a Republican, a Democrat or an Independent.”
“It never should be tolerated to move your actions from a belief to violence,” he added.
Tapper then noted: “But I guess the question is: If people are using rhetoric like ‘This president is a traitor,’ and ‘The Republicans are treasonous,’ and ‘They’re destroying the country,’ and ‘They’re going to kill our people through health care,' and all the stuff that might give the unhinged among you an excuse or a target, as it were.”
“Yeah,” the Democratic official agreed, “and then I certainly hope that no one would be out there trying to incite violence, and I think what we can do tomorrow is show the country we’re coming together.”
Smalwell then related a personal experience he asserted was similar to the Wednesday shooting:
I was 20 years old as an intern when [the terrorist attacks on] September 11 happened. I remember being sent home and watching Congress standing on the steps, hold arms and sing “God Bless America.”
That’s a moment I’ll never forget. Today, we went to the Capitol Visitor Center and prayed together hand in hand. If there’s more gestures like that that we can do to just calm the tone around Washington.
As NewsBusters previously reported, the shooting on Wednesday morning continues to generate reactions from liberals across the country.
It wasn’t long before MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell declared that she feared the tragedy was going to be “swept up” in coverage of the violence and exploited by “partisans.”
Soon after, Time.com reporters Melissa Chan and Jennifer Calfas joined the liberal chorus by stating that “Hodginskon’s Motive Is Still Unclear.”
In addition, Huffington Post writer Jesse Benn amazingly declared that the GOP shooting didn’t go far enough and other violent resistance to the Trump administration needs organizing.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, the editorial board of the New York Times found a way to blame the tragedy on conservatives -- yes, you read that correctly -- in an editorial Media Research Center President Brent Bozell called “a flaming pile of garbage.”
Liberal fallout regarding this tragedy will undoubtedly continue to be displayed over the next several days, if not longer. Come back to this website often to keep up with the obvious bias.