AUSTIN, Texas - The attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband has increased concerns of political divisiveness.
Is caustic rhetoric making America a more dangerous place?
Katie Naranjo, the chair of the Travis County Democratic Party, and Ashley Brasher, a political consultant for the GOP, joined FOX 7 Austin's Mike Warren to discuss.
MIKE WARREN: Katie, following this Pelosi attack, should politicians start taking to heart the effect their words can have.
KATIE NARANJO: Since the attacks on popular scene? And further beyond that, somebody who's been unfortunately a part of three different attacks, either where I was there physically or on my offices at the Travis County Democratic Party. We have been calling for a number of years for Republicans to stop with the intimidation, to accept the election results as they are certified, and to take responsibility for their words and their actions. And this goes back to also when Sarah Palin put targets, gun targets on people's heads. And we had a member, a Democratic member of Congress, Gabby Giffords, shot at a public event. And so the rhetoric that we're seeing from far right extremists, whether it's January 6th, whether it's the attacks on my offices running on busses, off roads or literally shooting members of Congress and attacking them has to stop.
MIKE WARREN: Ashley, how do we get to this point where the country is so divided that each party is saying that the other party is going to destroy the country?
ASHLEY BRASHER: Well, I think it's exactly what Katie just did. She just kind of showed you. It's immediately the other side's fault. It's not that there are crazy extreme people out there that take situations and blow them out of proportion and take things into their own hands and break the law. Of course not. It's just the fault of the other party. This is getting absolutely ridiculous and quite frankly, insane. We can't keep doing this back and forth. We can't have people like Maxine Waters out there. We need to take to the streets, and we need to be more confrontational. We can't have people like Kamala Harris out there saying rightfully so. We should be burning down everyone's livelihoods. We should be rioting in the streets and destroying neighborhoods. This isn't okay.
MIKE WARREN: Katie, what's it going to take to stop this to tone this down?
KATIE NARANJO: The Democratic Party denounces any calls to action that would result in property damage and violence, and we continue to do so. Both examples that you just gave were actually taken out of context. And as somebody who feels like, yes, this is insane, actually, you're right. I shouldn't have to worry about putting my child in my car because I had someone bomb my office, and it took four days to catch him. And you've never been put in that situation. The Republican Party members have not been put in those situations of physical harm and literally property damage.
MIKE WARREN: To let me interrupt you for a minute. Is this all on the Republicans and the right wing?
KATIE NARANJO: I will put it this way. I have not seen attacks on Republican members. The attacks that have happened are from Trump voters and folks inspired by Donald Trump, who was the President of the United States for Republicans. And those attacks have been on Democrats. We have not seen attacks on Republicans and that the attacks are coming from one side.
MIKE WARREN: Okay, Ashley, how do you react to that? What do you say?
ASHLEY BRASHER: So this is how the Democrats have been for a long time. Katie is exactly right. Everything is somebody else's fault. They don't take responsibility for their own actions. They've been calling for violence for years, and they won't take responsibility for it now that it's happening to them, too. So Republicans have been getting death threats for a long time. I mean, we had a pseudo celebrity holding up a bloody head of Donald Trump, and they praised it. So this is what you asked for. And it is unfortunate that now you have to pay the price on your side as well and denounce I mean, do.
MIKE WARREN: Thanks for joining us again.