Youngkin shows how not to respond to the attack on Paul Pelosi

For those who’ve seen extensive footage of the Jan. 6 attack, it’s difficult to forget the sights and sounds of pro-Trump rioters saying, “Where is Nancy?” in reference to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the assault on the Capitol.

This morning in San Francisco, a suspected attacker reportedly used the same phrase in the California Democrat’s home during a violent attack. NBC News reported:

The suspect who violently attacked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband early Friday was searching for her, two sources briefed on the incident told NBC News. The sources said that before the assault occurred, the intruder confronted Paul Pelosi, 82, shouting, “Where is Nancy, where is Nancy?” One of the sources, a senior US official briefed on the matter, added that the investigation is still developing.

As is always the case in a story like this, our understanding of the details is still coming into focus. That said, based on the latest available information confirmed by NBC News, a 42-year-old man named David DePape, who is in police custody, allegedly brought a hammer to the Pelosis’ home, broke windows, and entered the premises. The congressional leader was not there, and her husband — who does not have a security detail of his own — was home alone.

According to a Pelosi family member, DePape was trying to tie up Paul Pelosi and said they would wait “until Nancy got home.” When the suspect wasn’t looking, Paul called 911.

But as part of the incident, the suspect violently attacked the speaker’s husband, who was hit in the head with the hammer multiple times. As of half an hour ago, the victim is still in surgery, and Nancy Pelosi was en route to San Francisco.

A great many officials, regardless of party, have categorically condemned the attack, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, whose rhetorical record in this area is, to put it mildly, problematic. Today, however, the Republican’s spokesperson said, “Leader McCarthy reached out to the Speaker to check in on Paul and said he’s praying for a full recovery and is thankful they caught the assailant.”

Virginia’s Republican governor, Glenn Youngkin, seemed to go in a different direction.

At a campaign event in Virginia’s 7th congressional district, the governor told attendees, “Speaker Pelosi’s husband, they had a break-in last night in their house and he was assaulted. There’s no room for violence anywhere, but we’re going to send her back to be with him in California.” As the audience applauded, the peripatetic governor added, “That’s what we’re going to go do. That’s what we’re going to go do.”

First, as a general rule, when politicians start a sentence, “There’s no room for violence anywhere, but…” they should realize that sentence can’t end well.

Second, we’re talking about a violent attack that happened this morning. Is Youngkin looking to incorporate this into some kind of political zinger? While Paul Pelosi is in surgery?

The vast majority of political leaders have responded in tasteful and appropriate ways. It’s a shame Youngkin didn’t follow their lead.

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