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Public Statements

MSNBC "Hardball with Chris Matthews" - Transcript

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REP. ROBERT BRADY (D), PENNSYLVANIA: Well, what we"re doing is extending Title 18. Title 18 already passed the Supreme Court. It already is constitutional.

All we"re saying is that you can"t right now about put a crosshair or a bulls eye on the White House or on the president or on the vice president. All I"m saying is that you can"t put a crosshair on a member of Congress and you can"t put a bulls eye on his district. I"m just extending it. That"s all we"re trying to do.

MATTHEWS: What would this have done to Sarah Palin?

BRADY: It would have been illegal. She would not have been--you would not be able to put a crosshair on a member of Congress" district.

MATTHEWS: Do you think it would stopped her from doing it, or it would have put her in jail?

BRADY: I"m sure it would have stopped her from doing it.

Somewhere, there was a table, a conference table, where people were designing this map, and somebody had to say, well, what would have happened if something does happen? Somebody probably said, don"t worry about it.

Well, Chris, I am worrying about it. And we need to worry about it.

MATTHEWS: Your experience--you represent an inner city, West Philadelphia, downtown Philadelphia. You know--some of those neighborhoods have tough crime. Some don"t.

Do you have a sense that the threats on members of Congress in cities out in the country and in the suburbs have increased? Do you feel it when you go in the cloakroom? Does anybody talk about it?

BRADY: Well, without question, this health care bill ramped it up a little bit. I have been hollered at and screamed at and called a whole lot of nasty names.

And we had to walk through a gauntlet, all of us walking through the -
from our offices to the Capitol to vote on it. That"s OK. That"s freedom of speech. You"re allowed to do that. You"re allowed to criticize me. You"re allowed to do that.

But you can"t and you should not be able to put a crosshair on my district, and you should not be able to pull a bulls eye on me or any other member of Congress or staff or our families.

MATTHEWS: What do you make--I mean, you probably are a guns--are you a gun control guy? Are you against--are you basically on that side of the argument, like Carolyn Maloney, who"d just on? Are you in that side of the argument?

BRADY: Yes, I believe--I believe there should be some gun control, and I believe without question we should limit the amount of ammunition in a clip. What do you need 31, 30 bullets in a clip for? That makes no sense whatsoever.

MATTHEWS: Well, let me ask, Carolyn McCarthy, I misspoke, I said Carolyn Maloney, she"s in the city--McCarthy is from upstate. Let me ask you about this threat, though. Under the Constitution, it does get tricky when people use language like that SOB, you know, he doesn"t deserve to be living, you know, where do you draw the line?

I mean, a lot of people would say that guy ought to be able to be alive, he"s so terrible. I mean, sometimes, he--rhetoric gets very heated. Can you put somebody in jail for just blowing off their mouth? I mean, I agree with you about the ad.

Now, there"s an interesting question. You sit down and systematically, deliberately put crosshairs and use the language of guns and shooting and targeting, and you"re really clearly sort of bringing it into that person. But what about the general language of that person ought to be dead? What do you do with that kind of conversation?

BRADY: Well, it"s up to the authorities to figure out just what"s happening there and maybe if you even visit that person, and may be a person like what happened on Saturday, maybe you can get a better handle on who"s stable or not stable out there, and maybe you can get--maybe you can scare then a little bit by not trying to commit a further act of violence and God forbid what happened on Saturday, to take six people"s lives and injure 14 others. That"s totally ridiculous.

MATTHEWS: I understand your motive, sir. Thank you very much, Robert Brady, congressman from Pennsylvania.

BRADY: Thank you.

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