Wednesday, February 5, 2020

White House, Republicans blast Pelosi for ripping up copy of Trump speech



© Greg Nash

The White House and congressional Republicans condemned Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for tearing up her copy of President Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday night.

“Speaker Pelosi just ripped up: One of our last surviving Tuskegee Airmen. The survival of a child born at 21 weeks. The mourning families of Rocky Jones and Kayla Mueller. A service member's reunion with his family. That's her legacy,” the White House’s official account tweeted Tuesday evening.

The tweet was referencing several guests at the address, including family members of a man killed by an undocumented immigrant and an aid worker killed by ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Pelosi, who tore the speech in two and placed it on the dais after Trump concluded his address, later told reporters that ripping up the speech was "the courteous thing to do given the alternative." The moment followed Trump appearing to ignore Pelosi offering her hand before he began his remarks.

In addition to the White House, top congressional Republicans also blasted Pelosi, calling her actions "disgraceful" and "petty."

"How petty of Pelosi. Ripping up a piece of paper doesn't change the facts that were written on it — Americans are winning, in spite of the do-nothing Democrats," House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) tweeted.
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) called for Pelosi to apologize.

"That was disgraceful, it's something that she should not have done. She should apologize for that — I mean the whole country's watching and you've got to be better than that. You don't have to agree with a State of the Union — there have been a lot of things I didn't agree with in States of the Union when Barack Obama was president, but you respect the institution," Scalise told The Hill.

Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.), the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, said Pelosi created more divisions with her actions.

"The tearing up of the speech at the end was just such bad form — it's exactly the opposite of what was the tone of the speech and the mood," he told the Hill. "It wasn't an overly partisan speech at all, it was about all of us together, America, and our better days and all of that. And so I just was really stunned when she did that, I couldn't believe it. This is a moment for leadership, we need to pull the country together and that's not the optic that we needed."

House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said Pelosi "had a tantrum, disgraced herself, and dishonored the House," adding that the Speaker was "an embarrassment and unfit for office."

Updated at 12:16 a.m. on Feb. 5.

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