A California Republican congressional candidate was sure a “lunatic” Trump-hater wielding a knife was going to kill him.
Rudy Peters, candidate for U.S. Congress in northern California, recounted to Fox News’ Laura Ingraham the terrifying moments when a man identified as Farzad Fazeli went on a profane rant against President Trump and came at him with a knife.
Fazeli was arrested Tuesday for allegedly trying to stab Peters, a Marine veteran running against Democrat Rep. Eric Swalwell in Alameda, at a fair over the weekend.
Repeatedly spouting the F-word, Fazeli “pretty much bum rushes the table,” Peters said, recounting how the man smashed a coffee cup that was on their display table as the candidate explained how he confronted him.
“We’re pretty much chest-to-chest at this time. I grab him, throw him to the ground,” Peters said.
Fazeli then allegedly jumped up, yelling “I’m going to kill you M-F-er,” and proceeded to pull out a switchblade which he fumbled to get open.
“I’m thinking… when this lunatic gets this knife out, he’s going to kill me,” Peters said.
Peters’ opponent joined him in condemning the attack in a tweet following Fazeli’s arrest.
On Sunday, my opponent @PetersCongress was attacked at his campaign booth in Castro Valley. I’m glad to hear Mr. Peters is okay. But it’s NEVER okay to use violence to settle political disagreements (or any disagreement). Fortunately, @ACSOSheriffs arrested the suspect.
— Eric Swalwell (@ericswalwell) September 11, 2018
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise weighed in on the incident, and other violent outbursts against Republicans, speaking from personal experience as he was shot by a left-wing activist in 2017 during a congressional baseball practice.
“There’s no place for this in American politics. the foundation of this country is about free and open debate,” Scalise said.
The “call to arms” by liberals has to stop, the Louisiana Republican told Ingraham, agreeing with the Fox News host that Democrats need to openly be denouncing violence on either side – not just when it suits their political narrative.
Scalise pointed to other recent examples of political violence and threats of violence in an op-ed on Fox News published Thursday.
“Unless more leaders speak out against this violence, it will only continue. Instead of calling for harassment, we need more leaders in both parties to condemn this rhetoric and the violent actions of their supporters,” Scalise wrote. “I am calling on everyone, whether Republican or Democrat, to call out violent actions and violent rhetoric.”