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Emanuel Cleaver Blasts Lawmakers for Overheated Rhetoric

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo

Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) said today that lawmakers should stop “exaggerating” their differences with politically charged rhetoric — even Democrats who use the word “war” to define Republican policies viewed as detrimental to women’s rights.

“That is wrong. And I’ve never said it, not one time,” Cleaver said on CNN of the phrase “war on women.”

Cleaver’s comment came in the course of a conversation on how overwrought political rhetoric is negatively affecting American political discourse. The Missouri Democrat spent equal time criticizing Democrats and Republicans on how they have approached their attacks on each other.

“We have got to quit exaggerating our political differences,” Cleaver said, condemning Democrats who have compared Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) to Adolf Hitler for his anti-union policies. “There is no comparison. And so that was wrong.”

Cleaver also challenged Republicans who have said that President Barack Obama is trying to “destroy religion in this country.”

“We’ve got to stop that,” Cleaver said. “That is not doing this country any good at all. And the truth of the matter is, we know better. We know better, those of us who are in the public eye.”

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