Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) on the eve of the shooting that left her in critical condition and six others dead wrote an email to a Republican colleague promoting a softer public political discourse.
“After you get settled, I would love to talk about what we can do to promote centrism and moderation,” Giffords wrote to Trey Grayson, Kentucky Secretary of State who resigned to take a position as director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University.
She continued: “I am one of only 12 Dems left in a GOP district (the only woman) and think that we need to figure out how to tone our rhetoric and partisanship down.”
Giffords wrote the congratulatory note hours prior to attending her regularly scheduled public appearance with her constituents outside a grocery store where she and 19 others were shot.
In a Tucson, Arizona intensive care unit with a life-threatening wound to her brain Monday, Giffords gave her doctors the thumbs-up, a sign of a hopeful recovery. The same day, her accused assassin Jared Loughner, 22, appeared in federal court, facing charges that could ultimately result in life in prison or the death penalty for him, if convicted.
Grayson, who first met Giffords at the Aspen Institute in 2005, told cn|2 Politics that they both believed in running for office “in the right way and for the right reasons” and abhorred divisive politics.
“I think Gabby was really sincere in that email,” he said. “And I am going to to redouble my efforts.”
Grayson was the Republican-establishment candidate that lost against Rand Paul in the GOP primary for US Senate.
Within the first few months after President Obama’s election, the level of anti-government violence escalated to the point that the Department of Homeland Security issued a warning to law enforcement officials.
Conservatives, however, decried the report (PDF) “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment” as a political attack on them at the time.
“The person who drafted the outrageous homeland security memo smearing veterans and conservatives should be fired,” former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) remarked.
In the immediate wake of Saturday’s tragedy, Sarah Palin, former Republican vice president candidate, endured criticism for a campaign race map her political action committee promoted that placed Giffords and 19 other Democratic candidates’ districts in “crosshairs.”
Two former Democratic representatives from Arizona reportedly received numerous threats during their time in office after being placed on Palin’s “crosshairs” map.
“I cannot tell you how much I wish a panty bomber would come in and just fucking blow your place up,” one constituent told former Arizona Congressman Harry Mitchell, a Democrat who lost his reelection bid last year.
Another former Arizona representative, Ann Kirkpatrick, received emails calling her a “whore” and had a sewer cap thrown through her office window, The Daily Best reported.
Pleas for more sober political exchanges echoed across the media landscape in the day after the shooting, leading even FoxNews CEO Roger Ailes to tell his on-air staff to “tone it down.”
Yet, Ailes denied that his conservative-leaning network promoted the political climate in which the shooting spree took place. He pointed fingers instead to the collapse of the alleged killer’s support network, from his school system to the police department.
“So, by the time he decided to go to a mall and and wanting to kill somebody, he was attached to nobody,” Ailes said in an interview on Global Grind.
With reporting by Sahil Kapur and Eric W. Dolan.
Giggling Fox & Friends hosts gloat over Lewandowski hearing: ‘He gave as good as he got!”
The hosts of "Fox & Friends" giggled and gloated over Corey Lewandowski's contentious appearance before the House Judiciary Committee.
President Donald Trump's former campaign manager claimed executive privilege over testimony he gave before special counsel Robert Mueller, admitted he had lied in TV appearances and cracked jokes during five hours of testimony -- and the Fox News hosts were delighted.
"He gave as good as he got," said co-host Steve Doocy.
Co-host Ainsley Earhardt was laughing so hard she could barely speak.
"She said the truth shall set you free," Earhardt said, quoting Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) through guffaws. "'Answer the question,' there was no question."
Saudi Arabia to announce oil attacks findings as US weighs retaliation
Saudi Arabia said it will unveil the results later Wednesday of its probe into attacks on key oil installations, as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo heads to the kingdom to discuss possible retaliation.
Riyadh, which is bogged down in a five-year war against Tehran-aligned rebels in neighbouring Yemen, has said that the weapons used were Iranian-made, but has not directly blamed its arch rival.
However, the Saudi defence ministry said its spokesman would present evidence from the site of the weekend attacks that halved Saudi oil production, sending global energy markets into a tailspin.
‘Heartless and unconscionable’: Outrage as General Motors cuts off healthcare for 50,000 striking workers
"It is cruel and outrageous that GM has cut off the healthcare benefits from their employees in a blatant attempt to force the union into submission," said Sen. Bernie Sanders.
In a move critics said exposes both the particular cruelty of General Motors executives and the systemic inhumanity of the American healthcare system, GM on Tuesday stopped covering health insurance premiums for the nearly 50,000 auto workers striking for fair wages and decent benefits.