In a Fox News debate on civility and politics, a Democratic strategist argued that President Trump is to blame for the current tone of disrespect in the nation.
Rochelle Ritchie contended on “Fox & Friends” that Trump encouraged violence against people at his rallies, thus setting the trend that has recently escalated in the news cycle.
“Quite frankly we should have been having this discussion when we saw people being shoved at Trump rallies, when we saw people being punched in the face,” she said. “And so this sort of child’s play that we’re seeing playing out right now started in the Oval Office.”
Conservative radio host Kathy Barnette pushed back with a brutal reality check.
“Or maybe we needed to have this conversation when Obama said we need to bring a gun to a knife fight,” she said.
Barnette was referring to former President Obama’s infamous remark during the 2008 campaign.
“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” Obama had said in Philadelphia. “Because from what I understand, folks in Philly like a good brawl. I’ve seen Eagles fans.”
The Fox News panel weighed in on the toxicity of the disrespect in the wake of divisive rhetoric by Rep. Maxine Waters, and top Trump administration officials — including White House press secretary Sarah Sanders and Homeland Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen — being rudely treated while dining out.
The panel disagreed with Waters’ approach of calling on supporters to publicly harass Trump administration officials. Fox News host Ainsley Earhardt noted the hypocrisy of the California Democrat who incited rally-goers to confront the administration officials “anywhere” they see them, but would did not take it well when she herself was accosted with questions by conservative journalist Laura Loomer.
“We are past the point where this is just words,” Fox News contributor Lisa Boothe said. “We are at the place where it has turned into actionable violence and we should be very concerned as a society.”
“Civility, decency, the Golden Rule – those things are out the window right now,” Barnette added.