News & Politics

Republicans Condemn Political Violence After Secret Service Intercepts Bombs Sent to Clinton, Obama

President Hillary Clinton, seen here performing her signature "I point, they die" gesture. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

On Wednesday morning, the Secret Service reported intercepting two suspicious packages sent to the homes of former first lady Hillary Clinton and former president Barack Obama. Republicans condemned this apparent political violence.

Secret Service reported intercepting the Clinton package on Tuesday and the Obama package on Wednesday. “The packages were immediately identified during routine mail screening procedures as potential explosive devices and were appropriately handled as such,” the Secret Service said in a statement. Neither Clinton nor Obama was at immediate risk.

Even so, Republicans rushed to condemn the reported bombing attempts.

“Today’s attempted violent attacks at elected officials and the media are intolerable and have no place in our nation,” Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) told PJ Media in a statement Wednesday morning. “We are better than this. I expect that whoever is responsible for these heinous acts will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

The White House condemned the attempted acts, declaring “these terrorizing acts are despicable,” the Associated Press reported.

President Donald Trump retweeted a strong condemnation from Vice President Mike Pence. “We condemn the attempted attacks against fmr Pres Obama, the Clintons, [CNN] others,” Pence declared. “These cowardly actions are despicable & have no place in this Country. Grateful for swift response of [Secret Service], [FBI] & local law enforcement. Those responsible will be brought to justice.”

“Those behind such reprehensible acts must be brought to justice. We cannot tolerate any attempt to terrorize public figures,” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) declared. “I am grateful to the [Secret Service], Capitol Police, and all law enforcement who guard against these threats.”

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), who barely survived the congressional baseball game shooting last year, also condemned the attacks. “These attempted attacks that have been made are beyond criminal, they are acts of pure terror. Violence and terror have no place in our politics or anywhere else in our society,” he tweeted. “I have experienced first-hand the effects of political violence, and am committed to using my voice to speak out against it wherever I can.”

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), another survivor of the baseball shooting who was not wounded, also condemned the attempted bombings. “We should all stand united against the use of violent acts like those reported today against political and media figures. I condemn any such acts of violence, they have no place in our politics or society at all,” Paul tweeted.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) also condemned the attacks as “terrorism.” “Our country stands united in the face of attempted terrorism targeting President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and CNN. Rest assured law enforcement will hunt down the criminals who did this and bring them to justice,” McCarthy tweeted.

“This must stop. Political passion cannot become violence,” Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) tweeted. “We as Americans must take a step back from the brink and work to bring the temperature down.”

“Violence & threats are completely unacceptable in our country,” Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) declared. “Those responsible for this hatred should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. I am thankful for the great job the secret service does & the Obama’s and Clinton’s safety in this ordeal.”

“These threats are absolutely unacceptable,” Rep. John Kennedy (R-La.) declared. “Those responsible for threatening former U.S. leaders, or any American, with explosive devices need to be punished by the full extent of the law.”

“We must not bend to the political passions of the moment in this type of cowardly way – and whoever is culpable for this heinous crime must be held accountable to the fullest extent,” Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) declared. “This type of violent expression cannot be our future.”

Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.) also condemned the threat. “I stand by what I said yesterday: no matter what side of the aisle you’re on, we must all condemn violent acts like this and the dangerous rhetoric that encourages them,” he declared. “We can’t allow these acts to escalate to what we saw last year on the baseball field.”

Many Democrats have urged protesters to “get in the faces” of Republicans, accosting them in various places and interrupting their personal lives and the lives of their families. Clinton herself said Democrats “cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for.” Perhaps she should rethink this erosion of American civility.

Shane Mekeland, a Republican candidate for Minnesota’s state House, blamed Democrats like Clinton for inspiring the incivility that led a man to punch him out of nowhere, leaving him with a concussion and the inability to campaign outside without getting a headache.

Some, like former first lady Michelle Obama, have rightly condemned these calls for incivility. While Republicans overall have a better track record, President Donald Trump made the ugly decision of praising Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.) for beating up a reporter.

Americans must come together to condemn incivility, regardless of their position on the political spectrum.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.