Rep. Ted Poe told Newsmax TV on Wednesday that the Virginia shooting of Republican lawmakers at a baseball practice could easily be blamed on increased "vicious, hostile rhetoric" – and not just on social media.
"All of that vicious, hostile rhetoric doesn't help," the Texas Republican told "The Joe Pags Show" in an interview. "It has gotten worse than ever before since I have been in Congress."
Poe, 68, who first came to Capitol Hill in 2005, is not on the House GOP's baseball team.
"They don't let me play," he told Pags. "I'm too bad."
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Still, "the mean-spirited, really evil violent things people are saying on social media and publicly not on social media have created an atmosphere where there is a lot of anger in the United States," he said.
"Then, you find people like this," Poe added, referring to James Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Ill., who was killed by police gunfire, "who use that anger and retaliate."
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