GOP hit ‘rock bottom’ by calling Capitol riot ‘political discourse’

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GOP hit 'rock bottom' by calling Capitol riot 'political discourse'

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday that Republicans had hit “rock bottom” after the GOP’s national committee characterized the Capitol riot as “legitimate political discourse” when it censured Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger for participating in the House select committee investigating the violence.

“The Republicans seem to be having a limbo contest with themselves to see how low they can go,” Pelosi (D-Calif.) said at her weekly news conference. “They seem to have reached rock bottom with their statement that what happened on Jan. 6 was legitimate political discourse.”

The speaker added that the country needs a strong Republican Party and urged its members to “take back your party from this cult.”

“It has been hijacked, and it’s disturbing to see that the Republican leader of the House ran, actually, literally refused to condemn that resolution of legitimate political discourse,” added Pelosi, referring to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the GOP hit "rock bottom" after it called the Capitol riot "legitimate political discourse."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the GOP hit “rock bottom” when it called the Capitol riot “legitimate political discourse.”
REUTERS/Tom Brenner
Pelosi urged Republican party members to "take back your party from this cult."
Pelosi urged Republican Party members to “take back your party from this cult.”
REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo

“The Republicans can run, but they cannot hide from what happened on Jan. 6,” concluded Pelosi.

The Republican National Committee approved a resolution Friday censuring Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Kinzinger (R-Ill.) — the only two GOP members of the House select committee — for supporting “Democrat efforts to destroy President [Donald] Trump more than they support winning back a Republican majority in 2022.”

The resolution went on to accuse ​both lawmakers of “participating ​in a Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens who engaged in legitimate political discourse​.”

The Republican National Committee passed a resolution to censure Rep. Liz Cheney and Rep. Adam Kinzinger.
The Republican National Committee passed a resolution to censure Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger.
Photo by DREW ANGERER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Those words and the censure resolution created friction inside the party, as prominent Republican Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah, John Cornyn of Texas, Susan Collins of Maine and Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate minority leader, spoke out against it. ​

The people​ “who assaulted police officers, broke windows and breached the Capitol were not engaged in legitimate political discourse, and to say otherwise is absurd​,” said Collins.

McConnell addressed the controversy at his weekly news conference Tuesday.

He said the RNC had no business censuring the two Republican lawmakers, and called the riot a “violent insurrection.”

“We all were here. We saw what happened,” the Kentucky Republican said. “It was a violent insurrection for the purpose of trying to prevent the peaceful transfer of power after a legitimately certified election, from one administration to the next. That’s what it was.”

McCarthy responded to Pelosi later Wednesday morning, insisting that the censure resolution was not referring to “people who had broken into this building.”

The GOP's controversial censure accused the two lawmakers of  "participating ​in a Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens."
The GOP’s controversial censure accused the two lawmakers of “participating ​in a Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens.”
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

“The RNC put out their resolution, I think they have a right to do their resolution and what they wanted,” the House minority leader added.

When asked if he agreed with McConnell’s characterization of the riot, McCarthy said: “Yeah. I agree. Anyone who broke into this building, I mean, no one would disagree with that.”

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