In Sunday morning’s edition of “Face the Nation,” Republican Congressional candidate Tom Emmer was forced to defend his tweet in which he touted his Second Amendment rights.
The interview started out amicably enough when CBS anchor Margaret Brennan asked Emmer to comment on his feelings towards political violence in this country.
“I have to ask you about what we’ve just been talking about here. How concerned are you about the risk of political violence and how should it be minimized?” Brennan began.
In response, Emmer was forthright and didn’t mince words, condemning political violence, and specifically expressing contempt for the recent home invasion of the Pelosi household.
“There’s no place for violence, period, in our society, physical violence or violence against someone’s property. I think you’ve already covered that here this morning, the incident in San Francisco, tragic as it is, I think we need some more information about it. But we should all be feeling for Paul Pelosi and his family. Hopefully, there will be a 100% recovery,” Emmer responded.
But in light of the strange attack on Paul Pelosi on October 28th and disregarding Emmer’s previous statement, Brennan did her best to construe Emmer’s tweet as a call for violence later in the interview. The tweet showed a brief video of Emmer shooting a gun inside a gun range along with a caption calling for Republican voters to come out in droves for the midterm elections.
“Enjoyed exercising my Second Amendment rights with @KellyCooperAZ & General @JackBergman_MI1. 13 days to make history. Let’s #FirePelosi,” Emmer tweeted.
— Tom Emmer (@tomemmer) October 26, 2022
Brennan, seemingly appalled at the fact there is a weapon in the same tweet that mentions Nancy Pelosi’s name, proceeded to press Emmer on this issue, and asked once again, “to be abundantly clear” if he condemned the attack on the House Speaker’s family.
“And just to be abundantly clear, you denounce any kind of attack on the Pelosi family?” Brennan asked. Emmer responded, reiterating his previous testament.
“Absolutely. There should be no attacks, period. There should be no violence in our society. Again, whether it’s political or otherwise, there’s no place for it in a civilized society,” he said.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you regret sowing doubts about the 2020 election?
TOM EMMER: I have never sowed doubts about the election.
BRENNAN: You signed on to this Texas amicus brief that went to SCOTUS to overturn it. pic.twitter.com/8ji0CXibei
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 30, 2022
Having Emmer repeat this condemnation multiple times wasn’t for clarification, however, it was the setup for the line of questioning later in the interview where Brennan would attempt to portray Emmer’s tweet as dangerously provocative.
“I want to ask you about this when it comes to political violence. On your Twitter feed, you posted this video we’re going to show – just a few days ago where you’re firing a gun and it says, ‘Enjoyed exercising my Second Amendment rights. Hashtag Fire Pelosi.’ Why is there a gun in a political ad at all?” Brennan asked.
Emmer at first obfuscated his answer, saying the tweet wasn’t an ad. In fairness, it is specifically his campaign Twitter account as it is denoted in his Twitter bio. But Brennan continued on, focusing on the firearm in the video, the hashtag #firepelosi, and implying that the double entendre was intentional.
“A tweet, hashtag Fire Pelosi with a weapon,” Brennan said with contempt.
Emmer went on to point out that a few years ago when Republican Steve Scalise was shot by a Bernie Sanders supporter at a Congressional baseball game practice, he didn’t recall outlets like CBS attempting to conflate Sanders’ or Democrats’ rhetoric with the cause of the attack, but Brennan insisted that she wasn’t talking about ‘rhetoric’, she was talking about what was in his video and drawing an arbitrary line between the two concepts.
“I’m not talking about your rhetoric. I’m talking about what you posted. You’re shooting a gun. Our viewers just saw it,” the CBS host replied.
While Emmer maintained that the mention of the House Speaker and reference to the 2nd Amendment rights of Americans were related, Brennan refused to concede that point urging that, in the future, Emmer use more “pink slips” and “fewer weapons” in his campaigning.
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