The man who opened fire on Republican congressmen and staffers playing softball in Alexandria, Virginia was a rabid Bernie Sanders fan. Senator Sanders went to the well of the Senate to denounce the shooter and the political anger that apparently motivated the shootings.
66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson featured Sanders on his Facebook page and filled it with angry posts denouncing Trump, Hilary Clinton, John McCain, the DNC and Republicans. The Facebook page has since been taken down.
The former construction inspector from Belleville, Illinois was the lone shooter, according to law enforcement officials. He opened fire in a park where Republican members of Congress held a morning baseball practice and wounded five people, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (LA).
Illinois Representative Rodney Davis was at bat when the shooting started. He told CNN this could be the first rhetorical political attack.
He told Brianna Keilar, “This hatefulness that we see in this country today, over policy differences, has got to stop.” He said, “I believe there is such a hatefulness in what we see in American politics and policy discussions right now. In social media and the 24-hour news cycle. We can disagree about how to govern. That’s what makes this country great….” “I think Republicans and Democrats have to use this day to say, ‘Stop.’ We can work together. We have our differences. But let’s not let it lead to such hate.”
Before Hodgkinson’s Facebook page came down, political partisans filled it with diatribes against him and hateful comments about Democrats, Sanders and liberals.