Rep. Griffin urges Dems to ‘stop the violent rhetoric,’ backs off comment

October 3, 2013

Shortly after reports surfaced of shots fired on Capitol Hill, Rep. Tim Griffin (R-Ark.) sent a tweet calling on Democrats to cease their "violent rhetoric."

Griffin later admitted the tweet was "not helpful" and was done out of emotion.

Here's the original tweet, which Griffin has since deleted:

Griffin send the tweet shortly after noting the shots fired.

Later, Griffin tweeted that he didn't intend to blame Democrats for the situation.

"The shooting today is a terrible and inexcusable tragedy and an act of terroism," Griffin said. "No one but the shooter is to blame. I tweeted out of emotion but agree that the timing was not helpful."

White House officials and Democrats in recent days have used various metaphors for the current budget situation, including suggesting that Republicans were negotiating with a "gun to their head" and likening the GOP to someone with a bomb strapped to their chests.

Gun violence is often politicized, even in the near aftermath of a shooting. Shortly after Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) was shot in 2011, some on the left cited Sarah Palin, who had featured Giffords's district on her political action committee's website by putting crosshairs over it.

Update 3:22 p.m.: Griffin isn't the only one who cited political rhetoric after the shooting. Howard Kurtz reports that Rep. Juan Vargas (D-Calif.) has as well -- though Vargas didn't blame either party, it should be noted.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix, the Post’s top political blog.
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