Yesterday at a town hall in Pocahotas, IA (Rep. Steve King territory), a WW2 veteran stood up and made a pretty direct threat:
"The president of the United States, that’s who you should be concerned about. Because he’s acting like a little Hitler," said Tom Eisenhower, a World War II veteran. "I’d take a gun to Washington if enough of you would go with me."
Grassley's response to this direct threat?
"I want to make it clear that President Obama, I agree with him on a lot of things," Grassley said to the man. "He’s doing what he thinks he was elected to do. I tend to disagree with a good part of it, but I don’t ascribe any ulterior motives to it."
I hope you weren't expecting something assertive. I mean, Chuck's got to keep the votes of these nuts, so he's certainly not going to tell them directly that they're wrong and out of line by making threats against the President. I'm guessing he didn't think it was important to notify the Secret Service. I mean, afterall, this was just an old man, right? There haven't been any stories lately about 88 year old men shooting up the Holocaust museum.
Here's the video. It's at the beginning and then it goes on to a few other questions:
Here's the rest of what Grassley said:
"But I do think that you’re right from the standpoint that there is a lot of holes that he has put in place, like General Motors, the nationalization of banks — although, I gotta be ... Bush, uh, Bush started us on down that road in October before he left office. And, uh, also, uh, this deficit spending that we have. It’s ... It’s, uh, something we’ve got to worry about. And we want a country like we inherited for our grandchildren.
"And, I think most of you came to talk about health care, but I think health care is a, in other words, why people are coming to town meetings ... But I think health care is the straw that broke the camel’s back, in the sense that they were looking at General Motors, looking at the stimulus package not working, looking at the Federal Reserve shoveling money out of an airplane, looking at [inaudible] percent increases in the budget and a $4 trillion budget that was about to, uh, adopted in March, and they don’t see anything good comin’ from it and they’re fearful of the government taking everything over."
The Brady Campaign has a statement criticizing Grassley's lack of response:
"It was a credit to the senator’s audience that they booed Mr. Eisenhower, but Sen. Grassley also has a responsibility as an elected official to categorically denounce Mr. Eisenhower’s statement and the sentiment behind it," said Doug Pennington, assistant director of communications for Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
Grassley may not have taken the threat seriously, Pennington said, since Eisenhower appears to be a senior citizen.
"Yet we recently saw 88 year-old James W. von Brunn shoot and kill a security officer at the Holocaust Memorial Museum here in Washington, DC," he said. "Sen. Grassley should have taken Mr. Eisenhower and his words very seriously."
Chuck Grassley is either so out of his mind that he doesn't see any problem with a threat towards the President, or he believes threats of domestic terrorism are now acceptable and sanctioned rhetoric within the Republican Party. Whichever it is, he's unfit for the office he now holds. Senator Grassley should resign.