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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., strongly condemned the Republican National Committee (RNC) censure resolution against GOP Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger that referred to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol as “legitimate political discourse.”
“The Republicans seem to be having a limbo contest with themselves to see how low they can go,” Pelosi said Wednesday at a Capitol news conference. “They seem to have reached rock bottom with their statement.”
Pelosi said the Republican Party has been “hijacked” by loyalists to former President Trump, who has refused to accept the results of the 2020 presidential election and said at a Texas rally last month he’d consider pardoning the Jan. 6 rioters if elected president again.
“Take back your party from this cult,” Pelosi said. “Take back your party. America needs a strong Republican Party.”
The RNC took a rare step Friday to censure Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois for sitting on the Democrat-dominated House select committee investigating the attack. The resolution states the RNC will “no longer support them as members of the Republican Party.” The RNC, in its resolution, argued that Cheney and Kinzinger are “participating in a Democratic-led persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse.”
That language drew backlash from Democrats, who said the RNC is engaging in revisionist history by characterizing a violent attack on democracy as “legitimate.” And some Republicans in the Senate have also expressed frustration that the RNC would put up a resolution that has the effect of dividing the party.
Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Tuesday distanced himself from the RNC resolution saying it’s “not the job of the RNC” to single out Republicans while reaffirming that the Jan. 6 attack was “a violent insurrection.”
Pelosi ripped House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., for running away from the press when asked about the RNC resolution language, apparently in reference to a video clip on Twitter from McCarthy dashing away from an ABC reporter.
“It was disturbing to see. … He literally ran away from the press when he was asked about his position,” Pelosi said. “Republicans can run, but they cannot hide from what happened on Jan. 6, to call that legitimate political discourse —140 law enforcement officers were wounded. Some people died. It was an assault on our Capitol, our Congress and more importantly an assault on our democracy.”
McCarthy has since said the RNC should have been clearer that they weren’t referring to Capitol violence as legitimate.
“I think had they explained out what they were talking to this wouldn’t be controversial at all. Because they weren’t referring to people who have broken into this building,” McCarthy told reporters Wednesday, according to Business Insider.
Pelosi also said any member of Congress who participated in the Jan. 6 insurrection should also be “held accountable.”
Fox News Digital asked Pelosi about an effort that kicked off in North Carolina to keep Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., off the ballot for re-election, arguing he does not qualify under the 14th Amendment because of his actions on Jan. 6 in support of protesters seeking to challenge the results of the presidential election.
Section 3 of the 14th Amendment — enacted in the wake of the Civil War — says no person shall serve in Congress “who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress … to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same.”
“I would hope that members of Congress who would participate in insurrection and sedition would be held accountable by their voters, including any former President of the United States,” Pelosi said.
Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.