Margaret Brennan, moderator of CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” tried on Sunday to blame Republican rhetoric for the attack on Paul Pelosi.
But Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) refused to let it happen.
Last week, Emmer posted a video to social media that showed him firing a rifle.
The caption said, “Enjoyed exercising my Second Amendment rights with @KellyCooperAZ & General @JackBergman_MI1. 13 days to make history. Let’s #FirePelosi.”
So after questioning Emmer about election denial, Brennan grilled him over the video. “Why is there a gun in a political ad at all?” she asked.
But the problem is, as Emmer quickly pointed out, his video was not a political ad.
“It wasn’t an ad. I was tweeting out— I was tweeting out something that I had just done,” he responded as Brennan talked over him.
“Wouldn’t a pink slip be more fitting, if it’s about firing her?” she said. “Why a gun?”
Sensing that Brennan was trying to connect his video and GOP rhetoric to political violence, Emmer called out the media’s hypocrisy, namely that they did not blame Democrats when Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) and other GOP lawmakers were nearly assassinated by a far-left Bernie Sanders supporter in 2017.
“I never heard you or anyone else in the media trying to blame Democrats for what happened,” Emmer pointed out.
After more back-and-forth in which Emmer was forced to say the obvious — that he was simply exercising his Second Amendment rights — Brennan finally arrived at her point: She believes his video incites violence against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“Do you not understand that [the video] is suggestive to people who are in a bad state and, in this current environment, how risky it is? As you’re talking about the importance of lowering the rhetoric — why do you leave that up?” Brennan said.
“Well, I disagree with you,” Emmer shot back. “Again, I never saw anyone after Steve Scalise was shot by a Bernie Sanders supporter trying to equate Democrat rhetoric with those actions. Please don’t do that.”
“OK,” Brennan conceded.
GOP Rep. Tom Emmer denounces violence, defends midterm focus on Pelosi
While details about the Pelosi attack remain thin, the media have nonetheless concluded the attacker was a far-right fanatic and are thus blaming Republicans for inciting the attack.
Even President Joe Biden connected the attack to Jan. 6.
To overstate the obvious, police have not revealed evidence connecting the attack to Republicans.