Political rhetoric on both sides of the aisle is "out of control" and political leaders need to "model better behavior" in order to prevent violence, Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake told Fox News' "Fox & Friends" on Monday.
Flake was at the Republican congressional baseball team practice last week when gunman James Hodgkinson opened fire and severely wounded House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.
Flake helped apply first aid to his injured colleague after police shot and killed the gunman and then called Scalise's wife to make sure she heard what happened to her husband before it appeared on the news.
Hodgkinson was a Bernie Sanders supporter who was believed to have been motivated by political ideology and harsh rhetoric.
Flake urged that "We've got to stop, on both sides, on all sides," this harsh political rhetoric. "It's out of control… When people see it on Facebook, they see it on social media, they see this rancor and it's reaffirmed by people that they associate with, it's just easier to do something like this."
The Arizona senator said political leaders, both Democrats and Republicans, have the responsibility to lower the tone of political rhetoric.
"It does start with us. It will filter down," Flake said. "We just need to model better behavior. We do too much on both sides, and I include myself in that."
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