Shooting reflects pox that is current US political climate, Garret Graves says

The shooting of Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise and three others by a supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders reflects the nation’s current divisive political climate, says U.S. Rep. Garret Graves.

“The attack is frustrating because I expect that this will ultimately demonstrate that words and rhetoric have consequences,” Graves, a Republican from Baton Rouge, said in a statement. “Over the last several months, verbal attacks, divisiveness, and polarization have reached inappropriate and unhealthy levels in our government. Many thoughtlessly lob verbal grenades without considering the consequences.”

Members of media and bloggers  spreading misinformation and sensationalism have contributed to the problem, he says, apologizing for anything he’s done to contribute to the current political climate.

Scalise is in critical condition at a Virginia hospital after being shot in the hip by 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois. NBC News reports Hodgkinson was a frequent writer to his local paper, often railing against income inequality, linking it to the tax policies of the GOP.

The Associated Press reports the police haven’t stated a motive. But Hodgkinson’s strong anti-Republican stances and background as a former volunteer on Bernie Sanders campaign only added to suggestions that the shooting was politically motivated. Sanders has condemned the shooting.

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