Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) says political rhetoric doesn’t really incite violent behavior at all — but not before describing Arizona shooting suspect Jared Loughner as a “communist” and “the liberal of liberals.”
“This guy appears to be a communist,” Foxx told the Winston-Salem Journal. “His beliefs are the liberal of the liberals [sic]. There is no evidence whatsoever that this man was influenced by Sarah Palin or anybody in the Republican Party. This man is not a conservative; he’s a fan of communism - that’s the opposite of conservatism.”
In ascribing affirmative political views to Loughner, Foxx is going farther than her colleagues. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), by contrast, only claimed Loughner doesn’t appear to be a Tea Party member.
“I don’t think members of Congress incite that kind of rhetoric,” Foxx added. “I don’t think the things we say incite that kind of behavior. And I don’t know that the things other people say incite it. I just think we have deranged individuals in this country and occasionally they do bad things.”
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at email@example.com.