Democratic strategist James Devine continued to defend his controversial ‘hunt republicans’ tweet that sparked outrage earlier this week.
Posting from his Twitter account on Wednesday, hours after Rep. Steve Scalise was critically wounded at a GOP baseball practice shooting, Devine created #HuntRepublicanCongressmen and #HuntRepublicans.
The two tweets gained immediate attention from news media, and the New Jersey political strategist was widely criticized.
Devine later told NJ.com the posts weren’t intended as an endorsement of Wednesday’s attack, but as metaphors about “hunting” Republicans out of Congress.
He went on to say the attack was a predictable and preventable outcome of 40 years of increasingly vitriolic, violent, corrupt and corporate-controlled rhetoric.
In an interview with My Central Jersey, Devine said a case could easily be made in which Scalise’s shooter, James Hodgkinson, was utilizing his Second Amendment rights by using Republicans' gun-rights rhetoric.
Devine further added his thoughts on Facebook:
“I have little sympathy for the Republican Congressman who got shot today because he viciously opposed President Obama's effort to reduce gun violence and instead, he accepted more gun lobby money than all but 15 other members of the House of Representatives.”
When New Jersey 101.5 approached Devine for comment, he said he would not back down from his stance.
“It is insensitive and I don’t care. You want me to be politically correct? I don’t have time for that anymore,” he told the local radio station.
Scalise remained in critical condition after undergoing more surgery on Thursday. He was one of five people injured after Hodgkinson opened fire at a Republicans’ early morning baseball practice.
The gunman was shot dead at the scene by authorities.
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