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GOP leaders say little to condemn violent political rhetoric

Gosar AP
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File
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Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., waits for a news conference about the Delta variant of COVID-19 and the origin of the virus, at the Capitol in Washington, on July 22, 2021. In the past week, Gosar tweeted a video showing a character with his face killing a figure with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's face. Several of the 13 House Republicans who backed a bipartisan infrastructure bill said they faced threats after their vote. In one profanity-laced voicemail, a caller labeled Rep. Fred Upton a “traitor” and wished death for the Michigan Republican, his family and staff.

In the past week, Republican Rep. Paul Gosar tweeted a video showing a character with his face killing a figure with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s face.

Several House Republicans who backed a bipartisan infrastructure bill said they faced threats after their vote. In one voicemail, a caller labeled Rep.

Fred Upton a “traitor” and wished death for the Michigan Republican, his family and staff. The response from Republican leaders? Silence.

Less than a year after former President Donald Trump’s supporters staged a violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, the GOP’s refusal to condemn disturbing rhetoric and behavior suggests an unsettling openness to some persistent level of violence in discourse.