There have been reports of high-profile acts of political violence against Republicans and conservatives following President Joe Biden’s controversial “MAGA Republicans” speech last month.
“Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic,” Biden said during a politically charged speech on Sept. 1 in Philadelphia.
While speaking in front of an ominously lit dark red backdrop and flanked by two U.S. Marines, Biden alleged that “MAGA Republicans” also promote “authoritarian leaders” and “fan the flames of political violence” to target rights and the “very soul of this country.”
While it’s not clear if Biden’s speech motivated acts of vandalism or allegedly politically motivated attacks, several Republican offices across the country have been vandalized since Biden’s speech, including the Larimer County Republican Party in Fort Collins, Colorado; the Ottawa County Republican Party in Hudsonville, Michigan; and the Nebraska Republican Party headquarters in Lincoln, Nebraska.
The GOP office in Seminole County, Florida, was vandalized after Biden claimed Republicans engaged in “semi-fascism” days before his Philadelphia speech.
Officials “came out and found that all of the signs had been hacked to pieces, our building had been vandalized, our permanent sign on the outside of the building had been torn up,” Keith den Hollander, the chairman and vice chairman for Ottawa County GOP, told local media last week. “Really disappointed to see this.”
A pregnancy center in Oakland County, Michigan, was also targeted by vandals, who scrawled pro-abortion threats on its front door. It’s the second time the facility was targeted over the past year, according to local media.
Also in Michigan, an elderly pro-life canvasser was shot in Odessa Township, officials said. A 74-year-old man, Richard Harvey, was charged with felony assault and reckless discharge of a firearm, announced the Michigan State Police this weekend.
Joan Jacobson, 84, told MLive that she was canvassing with Right to Life when she was shot in the shoulder after going door-to-door to ask residents to vote no on Proposal 3, a pro-abortion measure, during the upcoming November elections.
Harvey came forward last week, telling WOOD-TV that he shot Jacobson accidentally as she was allegedly arguing with his wife, who he said supports abortion. Harvey said he told Jacobson to leave their property on multiple occasions.
And in September, 18-year-old Cayler Ellison was killed when a 41-year-old man allegedly hit him with his vehicle and later told a 911 dispatcher that he thought Ellison was part of an extremist Republican group, according to reports. The suspect, Shannon Brandt, was charged with murder in the teen’s death.
An affidavit said Brandt told the state first responders’ radio that he struck the pedestrian with his vehicle because the “pedestrian was threatening him,” referring to Ellingson, claiming he was part of a “Republican extremist group.”
However, from the moment Brandt called 911 after allegedly hitting Ellingson, “Brandt made comments regarding the incident being intentional and not an accident,” according to the affidavit.
An autopsy of Ellingson’s injuries indicated he was already on the ground when he received them, and that his injuries did not come from being struck by Brandt’s car but from being run over. Corroborating the autopsy results, there was also little to no damage to the front of Brandt’s car, according to Special Agent Jeramie Quam of the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
North Dakota Highway Patrol Capt. Bryan Niewind said that witnesses at the scene told investigators that there was no evidence that suggested Ellingson had extremist viewpoints or that a political argument had even taken place.
“Words can have violent consequences,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) who was physically attacked by his neighbor in 2017 and attacked by rioters after the 2020 Republican National Convention, said in a statement. “President Biden needs to realize that his vilification of his opponents is inflaming some of his supporters to violence. As a victim of political violence, both sides need to recognize the consequences of heated rhetoric.”
In a recent comment about political violence, White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates sold Fox News Biden “condemns these attacks and has been clear that violence, threats of violence, and vandalism are absolutely unacceptable—regardless of who is committing such acts or why.
“Like he said in Philadelphia, ‘There is no place for political violence in America. Period. None. Ever.’ The President believes that leaders in both parties should uphold that same principle, including when violence and threats are targeted against women seeking health care, members of law enforcement like the Capitol Police and the FBI, or the previous Vice President,” Bates said.
The Epoch Times has contacted the White House for comment.
From The Epoch Times