A GOP congressional candidate from Florida suggested in a fundraising email that Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and other Democrats be hanged for being traitors, according to a report in the Tampa Bay Times.
The email bearing the signature of George Buck, who is running against U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.) in St. Petersburg, accused Omar, who is Muslim, of working for the government of Qatar and suggested “we should hang these traitors where they stand.”
Pinellas County GOP Chairman Todd Jennings responds to congressional candidate George Buck's hanging email.— Steve Contorno (@scontorno) December 4, 2019
"There is no room for this kind of inflammatory rhetoric in either political party. No one should ever condone a candidate's call for violence."https://t.co/zvjcvPaCr8
The other “traitors” were not identified, according to the Times, but the email also mentioned House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other members of the so-called “Squad” of progressive female newcomers in congress — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.).
When confronted about the email by the Times, Buck initially denied writing it. “That was not me. I did not see that,” he reportedly said. “I would never talk like that.” Later, however, he sent the paper a lengthy written statement saying, “Anyone who commits treason against the United States should be tried to the full extent of the law.”
The GOP arm for congressional races is dropping FL-13 candidate George Buck, who called for Ilhan Omar to be hanged https://t.co/WbE9UvfuS5— Axios (@axios) December 4, 2019
Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle immediately denounced the comments, saying there is no place for such incitement in politics.
“Instead of doubling down on these disgraceful comments, the candidate ought to apologize unequivocally and denounce these unacceptable statements,” House Republican Whip Steve Scalise told the Washington Post.
National Republican Party groups moved to distance themselves from Florida congressional candidate George Buck. https://t.co/uY2yCNjIgB— USA TODAY Politics (@usatodayDC) December 4, 2019
National Republican groups also distanced themselves from Buck’s comments, with the National Republican Congressional Committee removing Buck from its Young Guns list of candidates worthy of support in 2020.