House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) ended a brief interval of bipartisanship on Thursday when she told a press conference that Republican concerns about left-wing rhetoric leading to violence were “sanctimonious.”
Pelosi was responding to questions from reporters about criticisms from conservatives about left-wing rhetoric in the aftermath of Wednesday’s shooting at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia, in which four were wounded. The gunman had expressed strident political views common in the left-wing media on his social media accounts.
Politico reported Pelosi’s remarks:
“If the president says, ‘I can shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue and nobody would care,’ when you have somebody say, ‘Beat them up and I’ll pay their legal fees,’ when you have all the assaults that are made on Hillary Clinton,” the California representative said in her weekly news conference. “For them to be so sanctimonious is something that I really am almost sad that I had to go down this path with you because I don’t think it’s appropriate for us to have the fullest discussion of it.”
Pelosi did not provide the context for Trump’s comments. His remark about “shoot[ing] somebody on Fifth Avenue” was a reflection on his own popularity, and was not directed at political opponents. His “beat them up” comment referred to anti-Trump protesters who deliberately initiated violence at Trump rallies. And there is no evidence at all of any “assaults” on Hillary Clinton.
Pelosi also claimed that the decline of political rhetoric in the U.S. began in the 1990s, with the Republican-led impeachment of President Bill Clinton for perjury after he lied during a legal deposition in a sexual harassment lawsuit. “Somewhere in the 1990s, Republicans decided on the politics of personal destruction as they went after the Clintons and that is the provenance of it,” she said, according to Politico.
Her remarks came just hours before Republicans and Democrats were due to take the field at the annual congressional baseball game.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.