Appearing Tuesday on “CBS Mornings,” Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., pushed back against a host’s suggestion that GOP political rhetoric was to blame for the attack on Paul Pelosi.
The Arkansas Republican was there to promote his new book, ‘Only the Strong,’ when CBS co-host Tony Dokoupil asked for his reaction to the violent assault on Nancy Pelosi’s husband last week.
After Cotton argued the judge should “throw the book” at the attacker, he argued the attack wouldn’t have happened if the suspect hadn’t been in the country illegally. He called for the same outcome for the man who planned to assassinate Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh last June.
TOM COTTON’S NEW BOOK HIGHLIGHTS WHAT THE SENATOR CALLS “THE LEFT’S PLOT TO SABOTATE AMERICAN POWER”
Senator Tom Cotton speaks about Paul Pelosi’s attack on CBS, November 1, 2022.
“We should do the same to the person who attempted to murder Brett Kavanaugh. The same to all agitators who demonstrate in violation of federal law outside the homes of judges,” the senator said, adding “anyone” who violates or murders should receive the harshest punishment.
Dokoupil then urged the Republican to blame “politically motivated crime” on fiery rhetoric and “disinformation”. Earlier in the program and the day before, the morning show linked GOP rhetoric about Pelosi over the years on the offense.
WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 08: Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh attends his swearing-in ceremony in the East Room of the White House on October 08, 2018 in Washington, DC. Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Senate 50-48 after a contentious process that included several women accusing Kavanaugh of sexual assault. Kavanaugh denied the allegations. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) Nicholas Roske (Facebook)
“I want to separate the everyday violent crimes from what appear to be politically motivated crimes and find out if the temperature in the country is just too high, if the misinformation is just too much and if we’re going to see more of it, not less. of political violence,” Dokoupil began, telling Cotton that members of his own party were “concerned.”
Cotton reiterated that politicians and figures on both sides have come under violent attack. He argued that avoiding criticizing the other party so close to an election was not a solution.
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“Well, you see deranged lunatics attacking both Democrats and Republicans. I don’t think John Boehner pointed out 12 years ago that Nancy Pelosi overtook Obamacare, or that Kevin McCarthy is pointing out now that she spent billions of dollars in inflation-causing expenses led to this a apparent nudist activist breaking into their home. The easiest way to stop crimes like this is to get tough on crime. It’s not about trying to quit campaigning in the middle of a campaign seven days before an election on legitimate issues of public interest,” he told CBS.
Nancy Pelosi arrives at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital on Sunday, October 30, 2022. Her husband, Paul Pelosi, was the victim of a violent home invasion on Friday.
(Flightrisk for Fox News Digital)
Still, Dokoupil pressed Cotton to see “the connection” between the 2020 election denials and the “motivations” of Pelosi’s assailant.
“You don’t see a connection between the political rhetoric and the actions of this individual and other individuals? He asked.
Cotton responded by giving examples of where the Democrats could be said to have incited violence.
“Well, Tony, no more connection than Chuck Schumer going to the steps of the Supreme Court saying Brett Kavanaugh wouldn’t know what hit him if he made decisions that Chuck Schumer wasn’t with ok and what do you have? Someone is going to Brett Kavanaugh to assassinate him. We should be tough and throw the book at these criminals,” he argued.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., warned Supreme Court Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch in 2020 that if they overturned abortion rights, they would “pay the price” .
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
PAUL PELOSI ATTACK: NEIGHBORS DESCRIBE SUSPECT AS ‘STRANGE’, SAYS HIS ‘INTENT’ WAS TO ‘TRAUMATIZE NANCY PELOSI’
In March 2020, the Senate Majority Leader warned justices at a rally about abortion. “I want to tell you Gorsuch. I want to tell you Kavanaugh. You have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you go ahead with these horrific decisions,” he said.
Some on the left were unhappy with the interview. They claimed CBS was being too soft on the GOP senator.
Helen Ubiñas, a columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, complained, “Listening to Tom Cotton on CBS Mornings and…jfc, shows like this are absolutely complicit in platforming this mess so that…he can come up with a new book?
Former Florida Congressman Omari Hardy called the interview “shameful”, tweeting, “Absolutely disgraceful interview with Tom Cotton [email protected] by @tonydokoupil. He just let Cotton vomit non-stop BS without challenge, without scrutiny and without context.”
A number of other liberals on the platform were upset about having to watch the GOP senator on the network. They called the interview “disappointing” and “embarrassing”.
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Kristine Parks is associate editor of Fox News Digital. Read more.
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