Dem senator: Both parties must discourage 'aggressive advocacy'

Dem senator: Both parties must discourage 'aggressive advocacy'
© Greg Nash

Delaware Sen. Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsOvernight Defense: Trump unveils new missile defense plan | Dems express alarm | Shutdown hits Day 27 | Trump cancels Pelosi foreign trip | Senators offer bill to prevent NATO withdrawal McConnell blocks bill to reopen most of government Bipartisan senators reintroduce bill to prevent Trump from withdrawing from NATO MORE (D) took aim at members of his own party as well as Republicans when asked which groups deserve blame for America's current political climate.

Coons told CBS's "Face the Nation" that both parties should reexamine their rhetoric following the attempted bombings of several prominent Democrats as well as the mass shooting Saturday inside a Pittsburgh synagogue.

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The Delaware senator pointed to Rep. Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersOn The Money: Shutdown Day 27 | Trump fires back at Pelosi by canceling her foreign travel | Dems blast 'petty' move | Trump also cancels delegation to Davos | House votes to disapprove of Trump lifting Russia sanction Financial system can forge bipartisanship in Congress Ocasio-Cortez, freshmen poised to take on Wall Street MORE (D-Calif.) and her call for protesters to confront members of the Trump administration over policies such as the administration's controversial migrant family separation plan.

"Look, when Congresswoman Maxine Waters encourage folks, protesters, advocates in my party, to continue this practice of harassing, of confronting folks from the other party, I spoke out against it," Coons told CBS.

"Many people in my party did," he added. "I think it's important that people who are in leadership nationally who are well known discourage that kind of aggressive advocacy."

Waters famously called for members of the public to confront individuals in President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump directed Cohen to lie to Congress about plans to build Trump Tower in Moscow during 2016 campaign: report DC train system losing 0k per day during government shutdown Senate Republicans eye rules change to speed Trump nominees MORE's Cabinet earlier this year, telling supporters at a rally to "absolutely harass them" over the Trump administration's migrant family separation policy.

Coons's comments followed criticism from CNN President Jeff Zucker aimed at the White House urging the president and his staff to take greater care with their words following a series of pipe bombs that were sent to multiple Democrats. One package addressed to former CIA Director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanBrennan calls on Congress to end shutdown before negotiating border security: Not 'subservient' to the president Washington’s reflexive opposition to Trump on Syria Brennan hopes GOP abandons Trump in 2019 over 'malfeasance, corruption' MORE was sent to CNN's headquarters in Manhattan. Brennan is an MSNBC contributor.

"Their words matter. Thus far, they have shown no comprehension of that," Zucker said Wednesday.

Waters herself was targeted by two suspicious packages this week that reportedly contained pipe bombs, amid other attacks targeting top Democrats around the country, including the Obamas, Clintons and former Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderWilliam Barr's only 'flaw' is that he was nominated by Trump Protecting voices of all voters is critical to free and fair elections Castro to headline forum in New Hampshire after announcing 2020 decision MORE.

“I ain’t scared,” Waters said after the attacks in an interview, adding: "We have to keep to doing what we’re doing in order to make this country right; that’s what I intend to do."