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Rep. Bill Pascrell at the groundbreaking for the Portal North Bridge. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe).

Pascrell says Republicans bear some blame for assault on Paul Pelosi

Pelosi was assaulted by man who posted far-right conspiracies online

By Joey Fox, October 28 2022 4:01 pm

Following the attack this morning on Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson) released a statement saying that Republican rhetoric was in part responsible for the assault, which was allegedly committed by a man who posted numerous right-wing conspiracy theories online.

“Now is not a moment for timidity,” said Pascrell, long known for anything but. “Let’s be direct. Today’s violence seems to be the direct product of Big Lies from many Republicans and Republican propaganda organs about Democrats and American democracy.”

Paul Pelosi was reportedly attacked at around 2:30 a.m. by a hammer-wielding assailant and is now undergoing brain surgery; Nancy Pelosi was not home at the time. The suspect, David Depape, reportedly yelled “where is Nancy,” a clear indication that the House Speaker was the target of the attack.

According to CNN, Depape has previously posted far-right views on Facebook about Covid, the 2020 election, and the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol – though CNN noted he did not seem to ever mention Pelosi herself. Pascrell said that America’s conservative media outlets bore at least some of the blame for the violence that results from such conspiracies.

“Turn on rightwing media on any given day or night,” he said. “You will see frothing hosts shrieking unspeakable lies and unfounded conspiracy theories about women, religious and ethnic minorities, city residents, young people, and scores of other Americans. That some are radicalized to commit unspeakable violence against their perceived enemies cannot be a surprise.”

While most other New Jersey politicians of both parties have not commented on the incident, State Sen. Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield) – a consistent advocate for more civil political discourse – condemned the attack on Twitter and said it should prompt a reconsideration of security measures for elected officials.

“The media has reported a person entered Speaker Pelosi’s home and attacked her husband,” he said. “This raises serious concerns about security of government officials. These attacks are a serious threat to our country whether we agree or disagree on issues facing our Nation.”

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