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Pelosi Rips Into Republicans for Criticizing Left-Wing Rhetoric Before Shooting: ‘How Dare They?’

• June 15, 2017 1:04 pm

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) criticized Republicans during a Thursday press conference for blaming Wednesday's shooting on left-wing rhetoric.

A gunman opened fire on Republican lawmakers early Wednesday morning while they were practicing for the bipartisan congressional charity baseball game. The gunman shot five people: House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R., La.), two Capitol Police officers, a congressional aide, and a lobbyist. The hospital treating some of the victims released a statement that said Scalise was still in critical condition. The gunman was shot and taken to the hospital, where he later died from his injuries.

A reporter asked Pelosi to comment on the possibility that the shooting could be used politically against the Democratic Party because the shooter appeared to be motivated by anti-Republican sentiments.

"Can you comment on the possibility that this incident could be used against Democrats or the Democratic Party politically because the assailant was apparently motivated by some kind of anti-Republican sentiment and we have heard comments from Republicans, including Congress, about vitriol rhetoric from the left being in some way to blame?" the reporter asked.

Pelosi responded by calling Republicans' comments outrageous.

"The comments made by my Republican colleagues are outrageous," Pelosi said. "Beneath of the dignity of the job they hold, beneath the dignity of the respect we would like Congress to command."

Some Republican lawmakers blamed Democratic rhetoric for fostering an environment that led the shooter to target Republicans.

"How dare they say such a thing. How dare they," Pelosi added.

Pelosi went on to point out the past rhetoric that came from Republicans, including President Donald Trump.

"Probably as we sit here, they're running caricatures of me and Georgia once again of over $100 million, of vitriolic things they say that resulted in calls to my home constantly, threats in front of my grandchildren really predicated on their comments and their paid ads," Pelosi said.

"So this sick individual does something despicable, and it was horrible what he did, hateful, but for them to all of a sudden be sanctimonious as if they've never seen such a thing before— and I don't even want to go into the president of the United States. But in terms of some of the language that he has used," Pelosi said. "So, again, let's go there another day."