RNC declines to sign DNC ‘civility’ statement

The Republican National Committee will not sign Democrats’ proposed “civility” truce — an agreement Democrats drafted this week in response to the rise of “violence and vandalism” targeting congressional lawmakers.

An RNC official confirmed on Saturday Chairman Michael Steele would not support the document, which Democratic National Committee leaders first pitched to their counterparts on Friday.

{mosads}The RNC spokesperson pointed out that both Steele and his colleagues have routinely denounced the violence, racism and intimidation that have greeted some lawmakers in the days after Democrats signed healthcare reform into law.

But the DNC this weekend promptly seized on Republicans refusal to support the new bipartisan effort.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse stressed the joint statement only focused on “condemning the threats and acts of vandalism over the past week, calling for an end to such tactics and urging a more civil tone in our politics.” Consequently, he said Democratic leaders were “disappointed” in the RNC’s decision not to support the agreement.

However, in a separate interview with TPMDC, RNC spokesman Doug Heye fired back at DNC Chairman Tim Kaine, who he said had failed to take a public stand against the recent wave of lawmaker threats.

“Gov. Kaine had an opportunity to condemn such activities when he was sitting next to Michael Steele on the set on Meet the Press,” Heye said. “He chose not to, and instead decided to use it as an opportunity to raise money.”

Heye’s comments seemed to echo House GOP Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) criticism from earlier this week that Kaine in fact sought to capitalize politically from the recent tensions on Capitol Hill.

Tags Eric Cantor Tim Kaine

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