Political Correction

Republicans Fan The Flames Of Violence

October 11, 2010 8:36 am ET - by Media Matters Action Network

Conservative Republicans routinely condemn violence, but they themselves frequently spew incendiary rhetoric when addressing the American electorate. While they flatly deny any wrongdoing and insist their language is anything but threatening, recent incidents of violence linked to their rhetoric prove this is not the case. Below are just a few examples of Republicans using inflammatory language:

Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO)

This particular meeting, in a way is a little bit unique. Different people from Washington, DC, have come back to their districts and have town hall meetings, and they almost got lynched.        

— Town hall meeting, Missouri, 8/4/09

These people decided to cast their votes on the Lord's day. He is taking notes and paying attention. We foot our heels on him as our fore fathers did. We will wait and see his deliverance. But you and I, we will solemnly resolve here to do everything in our power to restore freedom and to send that cart of socialists down to where they belong in the river down there. We will see freedom once more restored, and Washington, DC taken apart so that it no longer is a threat on American freedom and liberty.

— Washington, DC, 3/21/10

Sharron Angle, candidate (NV-Sen)

You know, our Founding Fathers, they put that Second Amendment in there for a good reason and that was for the people to protect themselves against a tyrannical government. And in fact Thomas Jefferson said it's good for a country to have a revolution every 20 years.

I hope that's not where we're going, but, you know, if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying my goodness what can we do to turn this country around? I'll tell you the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out."

— Interview with talk show host Lars Larson, 1/10

"What is a little bit disconcerting and concerning is the inability for sporting goods stores to keep ammunition in stock ... That tells me the nation is arming. What are they arming for if it isn't that they are so distrustful of their government? They're afraid they'll have to fight for their liberty in more Second Amendment kinds of ways?"

The Reno Gazette-Journal, 5/30/10

"I'm hoping that we're not getting to Second Amendment remedies," Angle said. "I hope that the vote will be the cure for the Harry Reid problems."

— Interview with talk show host Bill Manders, 1/10

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN)

What we have to do today is make a covenant, to slit our wrists, be blood brothers on this thing. This will not pass. We will do whatever it takes to make sure this doesn't pass.

— Denver, CO, 8/31/09

Right now I'm a member of Congress. And I believe that my job here is to be a foreign correspondent, reporting from enemy lines. And people need to understand, this isn't a game. this isn't just a political talk show that's happening right now. This is our very freedom, and we have 230 years, a continuous link of freedom that every generation has ceded to the next generation. This may be the time when that link breaks. And I'm going to do everything I can, I know you are, to make sure that we keep that link secure. We cannot allow that link to break, because as Reagan said, America is the last great hope of mankind. Where do we go —


Do we get into an inner tube and float 90 miles to some free country? There is no free country for us to repair to. That's why it's up to us now. The founders gave everything they had to give us this freedom. Now it's up to us to give everything we can to make sure that our kids are free, too. It's that serious. I hate to be dramatic, but —

— The Sean Hannity Show, 3/25/09

And really now in Washington, I'm a foreign correspondent in enemy lines. And I try to keep everyone back here in Minnesota know exactly the nefarious activities that are taking place in Washington. [...]

I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back. Thomas Jefferson told us, having a revolution every now and then is a good thing, and the people — we the people — are going to have to fight back hard if we're not going to lose our country. And I think this has the potential of changing the dynamic of freedom forever in the United States.

— Interview on WWTC 1280 AM, 3/21/09

Rick Barber, former candidate (R-AL)

Rick Barber ad titled: "Gather Your Armies."

— Rick Barber for U.S. Congress ad, 6/14/10

Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX)

BARTON: What are the homeland security people calling us now?

AUDIENCE: Domestic terrorists! Terrorists!

BARTON: Welcome right-wing activists — is that what we are?

AUDIENCE: Extremists!

BARTON: Yeah extreme, well I'm going to get me a button.

— Rally, 4/15/09

Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH)

Boehner says there will be major political consequences for pro-life Democrats who break from the Stupak bloc. "Take [Rep.] Steve Driehaus, for example," he says. "He may be a dead man. He can't go home to the west side of Cincinnati. The Catholics will run him out of town."

— Interview with National Review Online, 3/18/10

Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA)

We must declare war against oppression and against Socialism, and you are the people to do that.

— "Open Carry Rally," Alexandria, VA, 4/19/10

Catherine Crabill, candidate 99th Discrict, Virginia's House of Delegates

We have the chance to fight this battle at the ballot box before we have to resort to the bullet box. But that's the beauty of our Second Amendment right.

— Tea Party rally, 7/15/09

Brad Goehring, candidate (R-CA)

If I could issue hunting permits, I would officially declare today opening day for  liberals. The season would extend through November 2 and have no limits on how many taken as we desperately need to "thin" the herd.

Brad Goehring's Facebook page, 5/11/10, emphasis added

Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS)

POLITICO: What in the world does the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus do?

HARPER: We hunt liberal, tree-hugging Democrats, although it does seem like a waste of good ammunition.

Politico's "Get to Know a Congressman", 10/20/09

Rep. Wally Herger (R-CA)

AUDIENCE MEMBER: And I wanna say that I'm a proud right-wing terrorist. ...

HERGER: Amen. God bless you. There's a great American.

— Town Hall Meeting, Redding, CA, 8/18/09, video

Former Governor Mike Huckabee (R-AR)

Every member of Congress knows in his gut what's in the people's interest and what's in K Street's interest. If you think your real boss is some smug guy sitting in a corner office with his Gucci loafers up on a mahogany desk and not those folks back home, those folks who voted for you, who gave you 25 or 50 hard-earned bucks, who put up the yard signs and made calls for you, then you deserve to lose. Shame on you, Mr. Congressman. You shouldn't just be fired, you ought to be tarred and feathered as the original tea partiers would have done. That's my view and I welcome yours.

Fox News' Huckabee, 1/25/10

Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK)

We're almost reaching a revolution in this country.

— Chickasha, OK, 8/28/09

Rep. Steve King (R-IA)

If I could start a country with a bunch of people it would be the folks standing out here the last few days. Let's hope we don't have to do that. Let's beat that other side to a pulp. Let's take them out, let's chase them down. There's going to be a reckoning!

— Washington, DC, 3/21/10

Iowa Congressman Steve King is showing his displeasure with passage of the health care reform bill. During a protest at the capitol, on Sunday, the western Iowa Republican held up a poster of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He first gave a "thumbs down" sign. Then, King wiped his hand across her face. That was followed by a slapping motion in front of Pelosi's picture.

— As reported by KTIV 4, 3/22/10

Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL)

"I think that the decision to raise taxes by 50 percent in Illinois is political suicide," Kirk said of Quinn's proposal to raise the tax rate to 4.5 percent from 3 percent, coupled with an increase in the personal deduction. "I think the people of Illinois are ready to shoot anyone who is going to raise taxes by that degree."

— As reported by the Chicago Tribune, 4/16/09, emphasis added

Robert Lowry, Candidate (R-FL)

A Republican hoping to unseat U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz literally set his sights on the Broward County Democrat at a shooting range, according to press reports.

Robert Lowry was one of the Southeast Broward Republican Club who went on a shooting spree at a gun range and fired assault rifles at targets including a man in a headdress holding a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.

Lowry's target was a silhouette of a human figure with the initials "DWS" next to the head.

— Broward County Republicans event at a shooting range, 10/8/09

Matt Mackowiak, Former Press Secretary To Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison

The Tax Day Tea Party can be viewed through the prism of two divergent analogies.

Regular Americans can relate to the nationalistic story of Sam Adams, Paul Revere and others in the Sons of Liberty dressed as American Indians in a nighttime shipboard raid to dump British tea into Boston Harbor.

But there's another analogy.

The coming revolution is akin to 'Fight Club,' the 1999 film that follows the struggles of day to day life for a regular guy who starts an underground fight club as radical and not terribly productive psychotherapy.

As Brad Pitt's character, Tyler Durden, says in the movie, "Fight Club was the beginning, now it's moved out of the basement, it's called Project Mayhem."

Well starting today, Tax Day Tea Parties were the beginning, now it's moved on past April 15; it's called the 2010 midterm Congressional elections.

— Op-Ed in the Austin American-Statesman, 4/14/09, emphasis added

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX)

They fought against tyranny and oppressive taxes, do that sound familiar? We're continuing that revolution right here in Austin, Texas today. Thomas Jefferson said the Tree of Liberty will be fed by the blood of tyrants and patriots. You are the modern day patriots.

— Tea Party Rally, Austin, TX, unknown date

Dick Morris, Political Consultant

Those crazies in Montana who say, "We're going to kill ATF agents because the U.N.'s going to take over" — well, they're beginning to have a case.

Your World with Neil Cavuto, 3/31/09

But above all, go to the meetings and don't listen to the people, some of whom spoke earlier on this station, that you should be very nice and polite and stick your hand up and ask mild-mannered questions. Nonsense.

These people are trying to take away your health care in six weeks, jamming it through a compliant Senate without debate and without people even reading the bill.


If they are not terrorized during August by the public outpouring and they don't have thousands and thousands of handwritten letters on their doorstep waiting for them when they return from the August recess, they'll fold.

But if they absolutely get an outpouring of public opinion, I think we can win this thing. Right now I'd give you 50/50, because there are enough Democrats who will be intimidated by that kind of a massive outpouring.

Hannity, 8/10/09

This health care plan is going to be a tombstone. The only question is, how many Democrats are in the grave?

Fox & Friends, 4/13/10

Carl Paladino, candidate (NY-Gov)

Democrats also question whether Mr. Paladino's unabashedly angry tone — with his promises to "take a baseball bat to Albany" — would appeal to independents and suburban moderates, the sorts of voters that Republicans have traditionally counted on to overcome the nearly 2-to-1 Democratic registration advantage in the state.

— As reported by The New York Times, 9/15/10

Former Governor Sarah Palin (R-AK)

Commonsense Conservatives & lovers of America: "Don't Retreat, Instead - RELOAD!" Pls see my Facebook page.

— Twitter post, 3/23/10

We'll aim for these races and many others. This is just the first salvo in a fight to elect people across the nation who will bring common sense to Washington.



— Sarah Palin's Facebook page, 3/23/10, emphasis added

Governor Tim Pawlenty (R-MN)

She [Tiger Wood's wife] said, I've had enough. We should take a page out of her playbook and take a 9-iron and smash the window out of big government.


If you try to take our freedoms, we will fight back.

— Speech at CPAC, 2/19/10

Governor Rick Perry (R-TX)

Americans can take their country back and send a message to this administration, to this Congress and I consider myself proud to be in that army.

— Glenn Beck rally, 4/24/10

 Michael Steele, RNC Chairman

This woman has been derelict in her leadership duty to the country by not listening, by taking the party and I believe the country down a bad road. And this November, they're going to pay! So let's start getting Nancy ready for the firing line this November!

Fox News' On the Record with Greta Van Susteren via The Hill, 3/24/10

Randall Terry, GOP Activist

It is clear that many elements in the pro-abortion congress and White House want to force Americans to pay for the murder of the unborn in their "healthcare" program.

If that happens, it is tantamount to the government putting a gun to taxpayers' heads to pay for the brutal murder of an innocent child. This is tyranny and evil of the highest order.

"Please understand: neither I, nor any thinking person wants the convulsions that would inevitably come from such a government policy — the decision to force Americans to pay for the murder of their neighbor.

"Nevertheless, the sheer horror and frustration of such an evil policy will lead some people to absolutely refuse to pay their taxes. And I believe — if my reading of history from America and around the world is correct — that there are others who will be tempted to acts of violence.

"If the government of this country tramples the faith and values of its citizens, history will hold those in power responsible for the violent convulsions that follow."

— Press Release, 7/19/09, emphasis added

Allen West, Candidate (R-FL)

"If you're here to shrink away from the duties, there's a door. Get out. But if you're here to stand up, to get your musket, to fix your bayonet, and to charge into the ranks, you are my brother and sister in this fight. You need to leave here understanding one simple word. That word is 'bayonets.' And charge this enemy for your freedom, for your liberty, for the future and the legacy of that young lady right there.


You leave here today — charge!"

— American Freedom Tour, Fort Lauterdale, FL, unknown date

"Let me tell you what you've got to do. You've got to make the fellow scared to come out of his house. That's the only way that you're going to win. That's the only way you're going to get these people's attention."

— Tea Party rally, Jupiter, FL, 4/5/10

Copyright © 2010 Media Matters Action Network. All rights reserved.