GOP divided over whether calling representatives “niggers” and “faggots” is acceptable.
On CNN’s “State of the Union,” Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) denounced the use of such slurs “in the strongest terms.”
House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the “isolated incidents” were “reprehensible.”
Later on the same program, Michael Steele, the Republican National Committee’s first black chairman, agreed that the incidents were “reprehensible,” and added, “we do not support that.”
“What you had out there yesterday were a handful of people who just got stupid and said some ignorant things,” Steele said.
Not all Republicans were so quick to condemn. Roll Call reports that Reps. Steve King (R-Iowa) and Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) both downplayed the incidents.
“I just don’t think it’s anything,” King said. “There are a lot of places in this country that I couldn’t walk through. I wouldn’t live to get to the other end of it.” He added that health-care supporters were “embellishing” the story to undermine the opposition.
“When you use a totalitarian tactics, people, you know, begin to act crazy,” Nunes said on CSPAN. “I think that people have every right to say what they want. If they want to smear someone, they can do it.” He said the epithets were “not appropriate” but that the whole crowd shouldn’t be characterized by the behavior of a few members.