After newly sworn-in Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) pledged to “impeach that motherf**ker,” referring to President Donald Trump, during a progressive rally Thursday night, Republican lawmakers on Friday immediately turned up the outrage machine.
“You’ve had very foul language used,” said House GOP chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), whose dad, former Vice President Dick Cheney, in 2004 told Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to “fuck yourself” while the two were on the Senate floor for a group photo.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) also condemned Tlaib’s remarks as “wrong,” and lauded the previous Republican freshman class because they “put a resolution together to actually work with one another, to not use foul language.”
Some Democrats also took aim at Tlaib, like House Judiciary chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.).
“I don’t like that language,” he said on CNN. “More to the point, I disagree with what she said. It is too early to talk about that intelligently. We have to follow the facts and get the facts.”
But as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) pointed out Friday, Trump himself regularly uses explicit language.
“I’m not in the censorship business. I don’t like that language, I wouldn’t use that language, but I wouldn’t establish language standards for my colleagues,” Pelosi told MSNBC Friday, when asked about Tlaib’s comments, before adding that “I don’t think it’s anything worse than what the president has said.”
A reminder of just some of what the president of the United States has said: he referred to Haiti and several African nations as “shithole countries,” called NFL player and anti-police brutality activist Colin Kaepernick a “son of a bitch,” and infamously bragged about grabbing women “by the pussy.”
But most Republican lawmakers, aside from sometimes calling Trump’s language “very unfortunate” and briefly expressing some concern, routinely shrug it off or look the other way.
On Friday, a reporter asked McCarthy if any of his GOP colleagues called out the president for “that type of language,” referencing the time Trump characterized Stormy Daniels — to whom he allegedly directed his then-personal attorney Michael Cohen to pay campaign money to silence his extramarital affair with her — as “Horseface” (among many other times Trump has made derogatory comments about a woman’s appearance).
“I think a lot of them did in that process,” McCarthy replied.
Then-House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) gave Trump what amounted to a wrist slap, telling CBS News that “he should not have said that.”
“I think it’s unacceptable. I disagree with the rhetoric. I’ve disagreed with the president’s rhetoric numerous times when it comes to how he addresses women,” Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) added in the same interview, before arguing that GOP voters are instead “really paying attention to, both male and female voters, the record of results.”