While heated partisan rhetoric has become the norm ahead of November’s election, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) dramatically raised the stakes this week by describing President Donald Trump and GOP lawmakers as “domestic enemies” and “enemies of the state.”
As Fox News reported, a wide number of Republicans almost immediately denounced the remarks and called Pelosi out for her potentially dangerous choice of words.
“With their allies in Congress”
Pelosi’s controversial statements came on Monday during an MSNBC interview.
In response to host Ayman Mohyeldin’s question regarding whether voters should be confident in the integrity of the upcoming election, the speaker turned her attention to political rivals on the other side of the aisle.
“We take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic,” she said, according to a transcript provided by her office. “And, sadly, the domestic enemies to our voting system and honoring our Constitution are right at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with their allies in the Congress of the United States.”
Calling their actions “really, actually shameful,” Pelosi went on to describe the president and other Republicans as “enemies of the state.”
“This kind of unhinged rhetoric”
Among those who reacted with a harsh rebuke of her rhetoric was House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), who was nearly killed when a gunman opened fire during a congressional softball practice game in 2017.
“I was shot because of this kind of unhinged rhetoric,” Scalise tweeted, calling Pelosi’s remarks “disgusting” and wondering why there is no “media outrage” surrounding the incident, according to Fox.
“Enemies of the state and all of this — that’s the hypercharged language that led a gunman trying to kill every Republican on the ballfield,” Scalise added during a Tuesday appearance on Fox & Friends. “Why don’t we talk about issues? They don’t want to talk about issues.”
As National Review pointed out, however, many of the same media figures who melted down over Trump’s depiction of their dishonest colleagues as the “enemy of the people” are suspiciously quiet in reaction to Pelosi’s remarks.