Pelosi: GOP isn't provoking threats
As concern about threats of violence targeting Democratic lawmakers increases, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has made it clear that she does not believe her Republican colleagues are to blame.
"I don't subscribe that these acts sprang from any words of my colleagues," Pelosi stated during a Thursday press conference as she called upon leaders of both parties "to clearly state this is inappropriate."
The hosts of Fox & Friends had discussed those threats of violence earlier on Thursday, but had gone on to either minimize them or find ways to blame the Democrats.
Perhaps the most extreme blame-shifting, however, came not from the Fox hosts but from former Howard Dean campaign manager and current Fox contributor Joe Trippi, who suggested that if health care reform had failed, "progressives and liberals" would be engaging in the same kind of "fringe" activity.
"What the Republicans are doing, I think, is actually hurting them," Trippi told Fox host Steve Doocy, noting that Americans "don't want this 'kill the bill' stuff, the fringe stuff that's also happening with some of the violence."
"During the break," Doocy commented, "you said to me that if this health care bill would have been defeated, people on the left would have been burning stuff and doing crazy things."
"Yeah," Trippi agreed. "People on both sides felt very strongly about this."
"These are fringe actors who are doing this," Trippi insisted. "They're not representative of conservatives, the Republican Party, or Tea Parties. These are individuals who are acting badly, taking the passion and energy and using it in the wrong way."
"That would have existed in the same way in progressives and liberals," Trippi claimed. "Had this bill gone down. I think you would have seen some of the same activity. Everybody should abolish it."
The Fox hosts had previously suggested that the Democrats were exaggerating the threats of violence in an effort to gain sympathy and that it would be better for them to just keep quiet. Steve Doocy, for example, cited a report in The Hill that Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) "thinks Democratic lawmakers are feeding the publicÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s frenzy over the threats theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve received by discussing them so openly with the media."
"I think it would be happening on the other side of the fence, too," Gretchen Carlson added. "That maybe the other political party would try to take advantage of a situation. And that's disappointing. ... They should just stop discussing it altogether."
The Fox hosts also read from a series of viewer emails, several of which offered justifications for violence at the same time as they condemned it. "It's one thing to be dissatisfied," Steve Doocy cautioned in conclusion, "but don't do something stupid."
This video is from Fox News' Fox & Friends, broadcast March 25, 2010.