The Miami Herald is reporting that Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Pembroke Pines, one of the congresspeople most outspoken about toning down violent political rhetoric in the wake of the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., accompanied President Obama on a flight to Tucson to attend a memorial service for those killed and injured Saturday.
During an appearance on Meet the Press this past Sunday, Wasserman Schultz criticized Rep. Allen West, R-Fort Lauderdale, and the right-wing radio host West originally chose as his chief staff, Joyce Kaufman, for their history of extreme statements.
At a 2010 rally, Kaufman said, “If ballots don’t work, bullets will.” Although Kaufman eventually resigned, West has always defended her statements, saying Monday on Kaufman’s show, “I was standing there when you said that, and guess what, we did it by the ballot box.”
Wasserman Schultz addressed Kaufman’s statements on Meet the Press:
It’s our responsibility to make sure that we set the right example and set the tone of civility, but the shock jocks and the political movement leaders that are out there on both sides of the aisle need to have some pause as well. I mean, the phrase that you just used — “We use ballots, not bullets” — the actual reverse of that phrase was used in my district, by someone who was almost the chief of staff to an incoming member of Congress — where she said at a rally, a tea party rally, “We will use bullets if ballots don’t work.” So the rhetoric outside needs to be toned down as well, but we have to set the first example.