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Public Statements

Sherman Urges More Civil Debate

Press Release

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Sherman issued the following statement about the need to tone down political rhetoric in the wake of the tragedy in Tucson.

"When you have a heart attack, it's time to stop smoking. It's not necessary to wait for proof that tar and nicotine caused that particular heart attack.

"For years we have inhaled the toxic fumes of violent political rhetoric. It's time to stop now. If violent rhetoric was not the precise and provable cause of the assassination attempt in Tucson, it will surely be the cause of violence in the future. Those whose language and rhetoric go over the line must be criticized and disowned, not only by their opponents, but also by their supporters. So far, this has too rarely happened."

"Last summer Sharon Angle stated "if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies,' followed by the statement, "what we need to do is take Harry Reid out.'[1] Read in context, her statements implied that if her side could not control Congress through ballots, they should use bullets.

These statements should have derailed her Senate campaign, but Angle paid only a slight political price. Even when she repeated the same sentiments again, Angle continued to receive unqualified support and money from respectable mainstream Republicans.[2]

"As Gabrielle Giffords said last spring, "people really need to realize that the rhetoric and firing people up… They've got to realize that there are consequences to that action… community leaders, not just political leaders, need to stand back when things get fired up and say whoa--let's take a step back here.'[3]


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