Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) on Thursday issued a sharp retort to Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, who asked for examples of “a ‘Bernie Bro’ being bad,” reminding the former lawmaker that he was shot by a Sanders supporter during a congressional baseball practice in 2017.
“I have never seen @BernieSanders supporters being unusually mean or rude. Can someone send me an example of a ‘Bernie Bro’ being bad,” Ellison asked.
“Also, are we holding all candidates responsible for the behavior of some of their supporters?” he continued. “Waiting to hear”:
I have never seen @BernieSanders supporters being unusually mean or rude. Can someone send me an example of a “Bernie Bro” being bad. Also, are we holding all candidates responsible for the behavior of some of their supporters? Waiting to hear.
— Keith Ellison (@keithellison) February 20, 2020
“I can think of an example,” Scalise replied:
I can think of an example. https://t.co/KwuvyYgyGw
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) February 20, 2020
James T. Hodgkinson, the man who shot Scalise and injured three others at a congressional baseball practice in 2017, was a Sanders supporter, even volunteering for his campaign. He also supported a slew of left-wing causes and, according to his social media accounts, adamantly opposed Trump and the Republican Party.
As Breitbart News reported at the time:
According to the Belleville News-Democrat, a paper from the St. Louis area community in which Hodgkinson lived, the shooter has been identified with particularly progressive and liberal causes. He even worked as a volunteer on the presidential campaign of self-professed socialist Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. The suspect’s Twitter feed is also filled with tweets on liberal politics.
The paper reported that Hodgkinson belonged to a Facebook group called “Terminate the Republican Party.”
The shooter’s Facebook page was also linked to a long list of far left-wing groups and pages, including, “Expose Republican Fraud,” “Liberal Democratic Socialist Party,” “Boycott The Republican Party,” “I Hate Donald Trump,” “Healthcare & Education Berners United to Resist Trump,” among others.
The now deceased shooter also noted on his Facebook page that MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show was one of his “favorite TV shows.”
Facebook has since deleted the dead suspect’s account.
Even CNN described the suspect as a man who “defined himself publicly by his firm support of Bernie Sanders’ progressive politics — and his hatred of conservatives and President Donald Trump.”
Sanders condemned Hodgkinson’s actions upon learning of his political leanings.
“I am sickened by this despicable act. Let me be as clear as I can be. Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms,” he said in the statement:
Bernie Sanders has released a statement about the shooting/shooter. pic.twitter.com/2PSNaKYg6f
— Tamara Keith (@tamarakeithNPR) June 14, 2017
In recent months, Sanders has had to condemn bullying behavior by those who purportedly support him. In September, for example, Sanders condemned “racist bullying and harassment of any kind, in any space” after black leaders penned a letter, accusing his supporters of launching “hateful, violent and racist threats” following the Working Families Party’s (WFP) endorsement of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
As Breitbart News detailed:
Black leaders – including Black Lives Matter leaders, like co-founder Patrisse Cullors – signed a letter, which condemned the “hateful, violent, and racist threats” from people who identify as Sanders supporters. A draft of the letter, obtained by Splinter News, claimed that Sanders supporters have called black leaders “Uncle Tom,” “Slave,” and “Cunt.” The alleged threats followed Sanders’ loss of the WFP endorsement, according to the letter.
Similarly, the Culinary Union, which declined to endorse a specific Democrat candidate, accused Sanders supporters of “viciously” attacking the union and working families in the state over the group’s policy explainer, which highlighted that Sanders would “End Culinary Healthcare.”
Sanders condemned the attacks as “unacceptable” but cast doubt that those who made the attacks are part of his movement.
“Anybody making personal attacks against anybody else in my name is not part of our movement,” Sanders stated. “We don’t want them. And I’m not so sure, to be honest with you, that they are necessarily part of our movement.”