House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) said Monday that her husband, Paul, was not the target of an attacker who broke into their San Francisco home last month, but he “is the one paying the price” amid a dangerous political divide in America.
“For me, that’s really the hardest part, because Paul wasn’t the target,” the Democratic leader told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Monday, her first interview after the attack. “It’s really sad, because it’s a flame that has been fueled by misinformation. … It has no place in our democracy.
His comments come just a day before the midterm elections and amid fears some Republicans will continue to spread lies and misinformation after any Tuesday losses similar to those surrounding Donald Trump’s 2020 defeat.
A suspect, identified as David DePape, 42, has been charged with breaking into the Pelosi home, confronting Paul Pelosi and asking, “Where’s Nancy?” She was not home at the time, having flown to Washington, D.C.
Police arrived after the speaker’s husband called 911, just as the suspect allegedly hit Paul Pelosi in the head with a hammer. He was hospitalized and underwent surgery for a fractured skull before being released last week.
Pelosi, at times on the verge of tears, said she would have hoped GOP lawmakers would recognize that anyone in Congress from either party could face threats and violence. But she said it remained ‘really sad for the country that such visible people would separate themselves from the facts and the truth in such a blatant way’.
“You would think there would be some level of accountability,” Pelosi said, saying she thought Republicans were waging a “one-sided assault” on democracy. “But you see what the other side’s reaction is to that, to make a joke of it. And, really, it’s traumatic too.
The speaker said the attack would affect her decision to retire at the end of her current term.
“I was on the verge of tears several times in that conversation. I think I’ve been able to contain that very well,” Pelosi continued. “But of course I’m sad because of my husband, but I’m so sad for our country. Unless we can get over this and enough people say, while I may not agree with everything Democrats or Republicans are for, I do agree that our democracy is important and we need to protect her.
Pelosi added, as she has done before, that she believes a strong Republican Party is good for American democracy.
“The GOP … has done great things for our country,” she said. “We need this instead of a party giving in to a cult, a thug as I see it.”