“He took the video down and he made a statement that he doesn't support violence to anybody. Nobody should have violence [against them],” McCarthy told CNN. “I called him when I heard about the video, and he made a statement that he doesn't support violence, and he took the video down.”
The video was up for two days, and Gosar’s statement defended the video as “truly a symbolic portrayal of a fight over immigration policy.” He claimed he doesn’t “espouse violence or harm towards any member of Congress or Mr. Biden,” but, you know, he posted a video pretty graphically suggesting the opposite.
Politico’s Olivia Beavers tweeted that at the Tuesday meeting, Gosar “spoke behind closed doors to explain to members his reason for the anime video, saying it was to reach a wider audience, sources tell me. McCarthy told members at conference that Rs should be united on this & that Dems don’t punish their own for comments.”
After the meeting, McCarthy told reporters that Gosar “didn't see it before it posted ... It was not his intent to show any harm. What I said to conference was, cannot accept any action or showing of violence to another member.” The old “I didn’t see it, it was the social media staffer’s fault” line—except for the part where Gosar didn’t take the video down for two days, days during which he was absolutely told what was in it, even if he still didn’t bother to watch.
By contrast, Beavers reports that McCarthy “left it more open ended for Republicans who voted for the bipartisan infrastructure bill, basically saying now is not the time.” Got that? Post a video of yourself killing a coworker and attacking the president of the United States, it’s time for your party to be united and not punish you. Support a bill funding infrastructure that got the support of many Senate Republicans, and we’re going to consider punishing you in the future. At that, Rep. Chip Roy reportedly got heated … because he’s angry that the Republicans who voted for the bill won’t be punished now.
The rot of the Republican Party doesn’t just come from Donald Trump. The party’s embrace of violence as a tool against political opponents is increasingly widespread, as shown by the fact that Gosar is getting more of a pass than members who voted for a bill that had already drawn significant Republican support in the Senate. They’re telling us who they are. It’s time for the media and independent voters to believe them.
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