McDaniel blamed the attack on rising crime, for which she blamed Pelosi’s party: “If it wasn’t for Paul Pelosi, that felon would probably be on the streets tomorrow… That’s what Democratic politicians bring.”
Florida Sen. Rick Scott, chairman of the GOP’s Senate campaign arm, separately suggested on CNN that the “horrendous” violence was partly the result of lower public confidence in the election. (Officials on both sides of the aisle, including Trump-era Attorney General William Barr, claimed President Joe Biden’s 2020 victory was unaffected by widespread voter fraud.)
“Be poll watchers, so you can see the election is going to be fair,” Scott told voters. He also cited the beating last week of a solicitor for Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who didn’t initially say he thought the attack was political, but revised it in subsequent reports.
Poll watching is not a new practice, but it is increasingly on the rise among conservatives and has been described as disruptive by some election officials this cycle. Scott then called out former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams for suggesting that Republicans were undermining the election.
The assailant, David DePape, broke into the Pelosi family home in San Francisco early Friday morning and attacked Paul Pelosi with a hammer, San Francisco police said. He shouted “Where’s Nancy?” during the invasion, according to police.
San Francisco Police Chief William Scott described the attack as “not a random act,” but police have yet to specify a motive. DePape had close ties to him when he walked into the Pelosi home, according to a person briefed on the investigation, something CNN first reported.
For three straight days, Republicans have launched a Democratic fury that the attack on the House Speaker’s husband was tied to their inflammatory rhetoric — and a laser focus on Nancy Pelosi. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) linked the violence to election denial and intimidation on Sunday, saying too many Republicans have failed to speak up on the issue.
“[Nancy Pelosi] was reviled for years, and – big surprise – it went viral, and it got violent,” Klobuchar said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk released misinformation about the Paul Pelosi attack on Sunday morning, adding new weight to Democrats’ concerns about whether false claims could gain a foothold on the platform under Twitter’s ownership. Musk.
Asked if the attack means Republicans should tone down their rhetoric in attack ads leading up to next week’s midterm elections, Gov. Chris Sununu (RN.H.) said: ” I don’t think attack ads are necessary.”
“Ignore the elections. She is going to be well re-elected,” Sununu said on NBC. “I mean, let’s just make sure she and her family are safe.” Security should also be extended to other members of Congress, Sununu said.
Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) noted that former President Donald Trump has yet to publicly condemn the attack on Paul Pelosi.
“All of us, in the wake of this attack on Paul Pelosi, have to say we’re going to stop demonizing people,” Coons said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Violent rhetoric “can lead to violence from a small number of Americans who believe that when we portray our political opponents as our enemies, we are calling to attack them,” he added.
Nicholas Wu contributed to this report.