A day after falling just shy of winning his party’s gubernatorial nomination in Virginia, Corey Stewart blamed Wednesday’s shooting that left a member of Congress and others wounded on Democrats and liberal activists — accusing them of creating an environment that led to the attack by encouraging supporters to take the “the fight to the streets.”
While lawmakers from both parties steered clear of finger-pointing on Capitol Hill, Mr. Stewart, chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, said Democrats are to blame.
“This is the fault of the left,” he told The Washington Times. “They have blood on their hands.”
Mr. Stewart said Democrats have condoned violence against conservatives in the past, so he doesn’t buy their calls for unity now. He highlighted the recent publicity stunt in which comedian Kathy Griffin held up a prop of President Trump’s severed head.
“You don’t see conservatives attacking liberals or Democrats. It is always the vile, disgusting, animals that are attacking Republicans,” Mr. Stewart said.
Ed Gillespie eked out a 1 percentage point victory over Mr. Stewart, who ran as Trump acolyte and vowed to protect the state’s heritage by pushing against efforts to remove Confederate monuments. Mr. Stewart has conceded in the race, and said Mr. Gillespie, a former adviser to George W. Bush, is going to have to earn his endorsement, as well as the support of the 155,000 people that voted for him.
James Hodgkinson, the alleged gunman who opened fire on members of the Republican baseball team as they practiced for an annual charity showdown with Democrats, had a Facebook page that included anti-Trump posts and showed that he had an affinity for Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
He also apparently volunteered for the Sanders’ campaign. The Vermont Independent said he was sickened by the news.
Rep. Jeff Duncan of South Carolina, meanwhile, told reporters he believed Mr. Hodgkinson was specifically targeting Republicans after the alleged shooter asked him which party was practicing before opening fire.
• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at email@example.com.
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