House races

Giffords’s midterm Tea Party challenger: ‘May God’s strength comfort her’

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’s former Republican challenger fiercely condemned the attack on her Saturday.

Businessman Jesse Kelly (R) narrowly lost to Giffords in November after a hard-fought midterm campaign.

Kelly’s unsuccessful effort to unseat the Democrat was backed by Tea Party activists, whom Giffords’s father called “her enemy.”

The “whole Tea Party” was her enemy, Spencer Giffords told the New York Post. “They always get threatened.”

Party Nation founder Judson Phillips also condemned the attacks, but
warned supporters that the Tea Party movement would be blamed by
political opponents.

“While we need to take a moment to extend our sympathies to the
families of those who died, we cannot allow the hard left to do what it
tried to do in 1995 after the Oklahoma City bombing,” he said.

Meanwhile, Kelly said he was praying for Giffords, who remains in critical condition at Tucson’s University Medical Center.

“May God’s strength comfort her as we pray together for her
recovery. We mourn for those who lost their lives in this horrible
act,” Kelly said in a statement posted on his website Saturday.

“Senseless acts of violence such as this have absolutely no place in
American politics,” he added.

Giffords was shot in the head at close range outside a grocery
store in Tucson while holding a public event on Saturday morning.

A 22-year-old suspect is in custody, according to the Pima County sheriff’s department.


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