Yesterday, Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) joined conservative radio host Scott Hennen and discussed a variety of topics, including the GOP’s push to repeal the recently-passed health care law.
At one point during the show, a listener called in and asked Broun about the plans of some Members of Congress to sit with opposition party legislators during the State of the Union. The caller explained that she wants the Republicans in the Senate and House to “not take the bait” and sit with Democrats during the speech. Broun replied that he agrees “wholeheartedly” and said that he doesn’t want to sit together “being kissy kissy” with the opposition party because that’s just a “way to try to silence Republicans.”
He also said it would hamper the ability of Republicans to “stand up to what the Democrats are doing” when Obama “spews his venom.” Remarkably, Broun then went on to say that it’s actually “the liberals who are promoting this kind of venom [of uncivility], it’s not the conservatives, it’s the liberals”:
CALLER: Thank you Dr. Broun it’s an honor to talk to you. I would just like to ask if you would do me a favor, this one little constituent from north Dakota, if you would ask the Republicans in the Senate and House to not take the bait and sit with the Democrats in the State of the Union speech. The reason I ask is that it is a slap in the face to people across the country, who made a serious effort to bring Republicans into both houses of Congress and to have them just throw that away that was something I personally looked forward to watching the State of the Union and seeing the number of Republicans.
BROUN: I agree with you wholeheartedly. I’m talking to Members of Congress. Our leadership said you could do whatever you wantd to do. Sit with a Democrat, you can, sit with a Republican, you can. We’re goin to have a conference next week and I’m going to bring that up there. I believe very firmly that it is a trap and a ruse that the Democrats are proposing; they don’t want civility, they want silence from the Republicans. And sitting together being kissy kissy is just another way to try to silence Republicans and also to show, to keep the American people from seeing how few of them there are in the US House now, and when people stand up to what the Democrats are doing when Barack Obama spews his venom, then if they’re scattered throughout the Republicans, it won’t be as noticeable if the Republicans sit apart. So I’m not in favor, and I’m talking about it. And I hope other members of Republicans don’t take the bait. […] Right after the Tuscon tragedy there was an article blaming Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and me for what happened. It’s the liberals who are promoting this kind of venom, it’s not the conservatives, it’s the liberals.
Listen to it:
Needless to say, it is odd for Broun to be using such hostile rhetoric about Obama and claiming that an idea like sitting together with opposition party members is actually a plot to silence his party while simultaneously claiming that it’s liberals, and not conservatives, who are to blame for incivility in American politics.