Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
10 January 2011

Video: Giffords on inflammatory rhetoric

In March 2010, the congresswoman voiced concerns about people getting “fired up” to commit violence.

By Samira Shackle

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is still in hospital in a critical condition after being shot at close range at a public event on Saturday.

The tragedy has triggered debate about the role that violent rhetoric from right-wing commentators and politicians could have played, in the heated and aggressively partisan world of US politics.

But here is Giffords discussing the same topic, back in March last year, after an attack on her office. Of the furious political climate, she notes that “in the years that some of my colleagues have served – 20, 30 years – they’ve never seen it like this”.

Her comments – concerned, yet optimistic – now hold a sad pathos:

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A weekly dig into the New Statesman’s archive of over 100 years of stellar and influential journalism, sent each Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy

I think it’s important for all leaders, not just leaders of the Republican Party or the Democratic Party, but community leaders, figures in our community to say, “Look, we can’t stand for this.” I mean, this is a situation where people really need to realise that the rhetoric, and firing people up . . . For example, we’re on Sarah Palin’s targeted list, but the thing is that the way that she has it depicted is the crosshairs of a gunsight over our district. And when people do that, they’ve got to realise there’s consequences to that action.

Video from