Nancy Pelosi says ‘disgusting’ Republican reaction to attack on her husband may have influenced midterm voters

Muted GOP response came as far-right openly mocked violent attack against Paul Pelosi

John Bowden
Washington DC
Sunday 13 November 2022 18:59 GMT
Nancy Pelosi says Republicans' reaction to attack on her husband was 'disgraceful'

Some Americans may have voted for Democrats to hold on to at least one chamber of Congress simply because of the growing ugliness of the conservative politcial movement, Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested on Sunday.

Reacting to a historic performance by her party in Tuesday’s elections, which saw Democrats hold the Senate and position themselves for an expanded majority, Ms Pelosi noted that the Republican Party’s reaction to the attack on her husband had been met with a muted response from GOP leaders while their own members and supporters, like Virginia’s Glenn Youngkin and Donald Trump Jr, engaged in outright mockery.

Mr Pelosi was attacked by an intruder in his home just days before the 2022 midterm elections took place; he was hospitalised for a skull fracture after the suspect allegedly grabbed a hammer from Mr Pelosi’s hands and struck him with it.

Instead of responding with grace or any semblance of concern for another person’s wellbeing, figures on the right took to spreading conspiracy theories and crass jokes about the attack. To this day, social media remains riddled with conspiratorial far-right nonsense seeking to explain away responsibility for the attack despite the espoused right-wing beliefs of the suspect, and Twitter CEO Elon Musk has even engaged in spreading the baseless lies.

According to the House speaker, that inability to show human emotion contributed to the GOP’s downfall this week.

“It wasn’t just the attack,” said the Speaker. “It was the Republican reaction to it which was disgraceful.”

She argued that GOP leaders feared the Trump-aligned wing of the Republican base so much that they even feared distancing themselves from the conspiracies and mockery that right-wing figures trafficked in after the attack.

“There’s nobody disassociating themselves from the horrible response that they gave to it,” she said on CNN’s State of the Union.

Ms Pelosi added that her husband was doing much better and remained on the mend. The speaker’s husband was released from the hospital 10 days ago.

“Paul remains under doctors’ care as he continues to progress on a long recovery process and convalescence,” said his doctors at the time.

Still Speaker until at least the beginning of the next Congress, Ms Pelosi faces the prospect of her party being in power once again come January thanks to a dismal performance by Republicans and a strong showing by Democrats in last week’s midterm elections. A number of House races remain unsettled; Republicans are currently projected by some networks to win a single-digit majority but even that remains in question thanks to several contests that many analysts did not expect to be competitive.

Republicans remain in a state of shock and fury following news that they not only failed to take the Senate but could very well be pushed further into the minority; a tide of editorials from right-leaning news outlets have battered former President Donald Trump, blaming him for the loss, while the far right pushed a number of theories for their loss including baseless election fraud conspiracies.

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