A Democratic member of Congress who has a history of calling for civility in politics promoted a filthy message of derision from one hate-filled Twitter user.
Rep. Keith Ellison (D., Minn.) took to the social networking website yesterday to pose a question: " ‘… even if you have a child two years of age, you need to go to work’ Who said it?"
The heavily edited quote comes from Mitt Romney, who discussed the right of women with children to work at a January campaign event.
"I wanted to increase the work requirement," Romney said at the event, according to MSNBC. "I said, for instance, that even if you have a child two years of age, you need to go to work. And people said, ‘Well that's heartless,' and I said ‘No, no, I'm willing to spend more giving daycare to allow those parents to go back to work. It'll cost the state more providing that daycare, but I want the individuals to have the dignity of work.’ "
In responding to Ellison’s question, one responder compared Romney to a feminine hygiene product: "A heartless douchebag who doesn't like animals or small children. At least that's what I've heard."
Ellison, a vociferous proponent of civil discourse, subsequently promoted the message despite said calls for civil discourse.
Ellison, for instance, spoke at length about the need greater civility in politics during an event in February 2011. The congressman has also implored citizens from across the nation to sign a tolerance pledge.
He also counts himself as an ally of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, a Jewish advocacy group that has urged members of Congress and political commentators to sign a civility pledge—a document that sparked outrage from critics who claimed the organization was trying to stifle robust discussion.
UPDATE: Rep. Keith Ellison has distanced himself from a Twitter user who referred to Mitt Romney as a "douche bag."
Ellison had promoted that comment as recently as this morning, but apparently in response a Free Beacon report on the matter, the congressman has deleted his association with the message.
Ellison’s office did respond immediately to a request seeking comment. Everyone in the press department, said one of Ellison’s staffers, were "away from their desks."
Spokesperson Jeremy Slevin did not immediately respond to an email seeking explanation.
UPDATE at 12:24: Rep. Ellison's Communications Director Jennifer Porter Gore responds, "As with all Twitter accounts a retweet is not an endorsement. The congressman removed the tweet because it appeared to endorse use of a nasty term, which is not what we wanted."