Politics

Brooks Suggests Republicans Are Retiring Because of Assassination Fears

Pointed at the large number of GOP members on baseball team who are leaving Congress

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., speaks to reporters at the Republican baseball team's first practice of the year at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria, Virginia, on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks suggested in a radio interview that Republicans are retiring en masse because of assassination fears.

Brooks was speaking on “The Dale Jackson Show” about the first Republican practice the Congressional Baseball Game after last year’s shooting that left Majority Whip Steve Scalise severely injured.

“We have multiple rings of security, plainclothes, uniform, Capitol Police, other police,” he said. “There was a medical vehicle nearby just in case there was a copycat.”

But Brooks said while there were multiple factors that contributed to a slew of Republicans leaving the House, he suggested fears of violence was a major one.

“One of the things that’s concerning me is the assassination risk may become a factor,” he said.

Brooks referred to the fact many members of the Republican baseball team are retiring, including Sen. Jeff Flake and Reps. Ryan Costello, Pat Meehan, Dennis Ross and Tom Rooney.

“You have to wonder with that kind of disproportionate retirement number whether what happened in June played a factor,” he said.

Brooks also pointed to the fact that in the past month, a man pled guilty to threatening Arizona Rep. Martha McSally and three different people have been arrested for threatening Reps. Scott Taylor and Tom Garrett of Virginia and Frank LoBiondo of New Jersey.

“Notice a trend here?” he said. “I have a congressman who is a friend here who has a three-year old daughter whose daughter was threatened with murder.”

He also said the “socialist Bernie Sanders wing of society” was pushing for a revolution that would lead to Maoist level of violence.

“There are a growing number of leftists who believe the way to resolve this is not at the ballot box but through threats and sometimes through violence and assassinations,” he said.

When pressed about his suggestion, Brooks said it was a “possible” factor.

“I don't think any of these people who are retiring would say that, but just looking at the numbers,” he said. “That’s out of whack.”

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