U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) this week described the injuries one of his campaign canvassers sustained when he was allegedly beaten in a politically charged attack.
“Last night one of our canvassers wearing my T-shirt and a [Gov. Ron] Desantis hat was brutally attacked by 4 animals who told him Republicans weren’t allowed in their neighborhood in [Hialeah, Florida],” Rubio tweeted on Monday. “He suffered internal bleeding, a broken jaw & will need facial reconstructive surgery.”
His post was accompanied by graphic images of the victim’s injuries and served as the latest example of violence against conservatives in a nation increasingly divided along partisan lines.
During the current midterm election cycle, there have been several shocking reports of violence against Republicans, including charges against Shannon Brandt, a 41-year-old North Dakota man accused of driving over and killing an 18-year-old victim who he later described as a “Republican extremist.”
Even GOP politicians were not spared, as New York gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin learned after he was attacked on stage at a campaign event earlier this year.
While there has always been a threat of potential violence by unhinged individuals on both sides of the aisle, a growing number of GOP critics say that some Democrats appear to be tacitly — or explicitly — inciting attacks against their political rivals.
For her part, U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) denounced the GOP as “extreme” and declared a “call to arms” in her party’s bid to prevent Republicans from gaining control of Congress.
Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), who is campaigning to be his state’s next U.S. senator, also appeared to stoke the fire during an MSNBC interview last month.
Tim Ryan: We have to “kill and confront that movement” of “extremist” Republicans. pic.twitter.com/ETITYgjGsj
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) September 13, 2022
“Some of those answers will come from Republicans,” he said. “Not the extremists that we’re dealing with every single day. We’ve gotta kill and confront that movement.”
Political analyst Michele Maples pointed out the “multiple layers of hypocrisy” at play in the Democratic Party’s current strategy, explaining: “We’ve got, attack your fellow Americans if they don’t agree with you politically, and then we’ve got this call to arms where Sen. Hirono is saying, those people who agree with me politically — they can have arms.”