House Republicans Nancy Mace and Marjorie Taylor Greene are in a public and highly personal feud over abortion and religion, amid the ongoing fallout from Islamophobic remarks by some GOP lawmakers.
She wrote on Twitter Tuesday that Mace is never attacked by Democrats or moderate Republicans “because she is not conservative, she’s pro-abort.”
Mace (S.C.), who is a rape survivor, supports restrictions on abortion. Greene’s suggestion that her colleague was “pro-abort” appears to stem from how as a state representative, Mace championed exceptions to an abortion ban for victims of rape and incest.
On Tuesday, Mace replied to Greene with three emoji: bat, poop and clown, referencing a common insult.
“This was a devastating and life-changing traumatic event. I had no hope for the future, turned to drugs and alcohol, dropped out of school, and never thought I’d make it,” said Mace on Twitter about being sexually assaulted as a teenager. She added that she was “beyond disgusted” by the exchange with Greene.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) summoned Greene and Mace for separate meetings Tuesday to address the simmering feud, a person familiar with the talks told The Washington Post. CNN first reported on the meetings.
“I just got off a good call with [McCarthy],” Mace wrote on Twitter, in a message that was taken verbatim from a Greene post over the weekend. “We spent time talking about solving problems not only in the conference, but for our country.”
Both Mace and Greene are serving their first terms in the House. While the two congresswomen identify as conservatives, Greene has made her name as an incendiary, unabashed supporter of former president Donald Trump. Mace has put some distance between herself and Trump, who recently urged other Republicans to mount a primary challenge against her.
McCarthy and other House GOP leaders are facing calls to condemn Islamophobic remarks by members of their conference, amid growing concerns that their silence is enabling extremist rhetoric that contributes to bigotry and potential threats of violence toward Muslims.
Mace, in a Sunday interview on CNN, had criticized Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) for likening Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) — who is Muslim and wears a hijab — to a suicide bomber, citing it as an example of “racist tropes and remarks” that have been made on both sides of the aisle.
Greene and Boebert have both called Omar a member of the “Jihad Squad” — a reference Greene repeated during her Twitter exchange with Mace on Tuesday, in which she suggested that Mace “just go hang with your real gal pals, the Jihad Squad. Your out of your league.”
It is not unusual for lawmakers to attack political rivals on social media. Rep. Paul A. Gosar (R-Ariz.) last month shared an altered, animated video that depicted him killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and swinging two swords at President Biden, prompting condemnation and calls for his Twitter and Instagram accounts to be suspended.
But with the notable exception of the frenzied GOP reaction to Rep. Liz Cheney’s (Wyo.) disavowal of Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud, it is much less common for legislators to attack their own party colleagues.
During a news conference focused on recruiting women to run for the House, Republican Conference Chair Rep. Elise Stefanik (N.Y.) was asked about how to bridge the divides that have been exposed among members as leaders eye the midterm elections, including the back-and-forth between Mace and Greene.
“Listen, we’re working as a team … The issues people care about are not the Twitter infighting,” she said. “They care about issues that impact their daily lives, and that’s what Republicans are focused on.”
After a day of terse exchanges on Twitter, Mace told reporters at the Capitol Tuesday night: “All I can say about Marjorie Taylor Greene is bless her … heart.”
Jacqueline Alemany and Marianna Sotomayor in Washington contributed to this report.