During a Republican rally in New Hampshire Sunday night, New Hampshire GOP Chairperson Jennifer Horn tried to energize Republican voters by telling them to push Democrats’ heads under water “until they cannot breathe anymore.” Apparently, hateful and violent rhetoric was the theme of the evening, as other Republicans at the pep rally in a hangar at Manchester Airport joined in. As one would expect in the final days before the all-important midterm elections, the Democratic candidates in the state were tied to President Obama, and Obama was vilified and torched by those speaking.
In front of a crowd of roughly 400 New Hampshire voters, Horn decided to take it to the next level by calling for Republicans to drown and suffocate Democrats.
“A wave just doesn’t happen. Waves happen when every single member of a cause or a movement come together. This is our time. We need to crush it. We need to grab it, run with it, push their heads under over and over again until they cannot breathe anymore, until the elections are over on Tuesday night and we’ve won it all.”
Even if she is just going over-the-top with her metaphors, this is is really beyond the pale. She is essentially calling for violence against others, all while barely containing it within the confines of a political speech meant to rally the base. This is really politics at its worst and most disgusting.
Of course, Horn wasn’t the only one to say inappropriate or offensive things Sunday. Former New Hampshire Governor John H. Sununu, who specialized in racist dog whistles and offensive rhetoric while stumping for Mitt Romney in 2012, got on stage and did his thing. Per the New Hampshire Journal, Sununu said the following of Democrats and President Obama:
Former Gov. John H. Sununu said Democrats should be “embarrassed of their President who has failed America, who has screwed America, and we have to make a change.
“Think of how disgraceful it is to have a disgrace in the White House,” Sununu said.
Walt Havenstein, who is facing incumbent Democrat Maggie Hassan in the race for governor, told voters to leave their friends at home of they weren’t going to vote for Republicans. He also made sure to use Obama as a negative.
“Aren’t you sick and tired of Democrats in Washington following Barack Obama and Democrats in Concord proposing things like expanded Obamacare?
“If your friends are not inclined to vote for us leave them at home. I know the greatness of the United States of America and I will not surrender it to those who don’t.”
Other notable New Hampshire Republicans were at the event. Besides the candidates for national office, such as Scott Brown, who is running for Senate, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) also made an appearance. Compared to the others on the stage, Ayotte’s remarks were muted and much less inflammatory.
New Hampshire Democratic Party Communications Director Julie McClain gave the following statement to MSNBC regarding the comments from Republicans, specifically Jennifer Horn.
“This type of inflammatory language tells you everything that you need to know about the status of the New Hampshire Republican Party. There’s no excuse for this kind of violent rhetoric.”
The former chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Party sent the following tweet Sunday night regarding the comments from Horn and Sununu.
Takes a lot to shock in this biz, but both Jennifer Horn & John H. Sununu way out of line w/ reckless rhetoric of rage tonight. #nhpolitics
— Kathy Sullivan (@NHKathySullivan) November 3, 2014
Indeed. Every time you think the GOP has sunk to a new low, they go out of their way to surprise you.
Correction: The article initially referred to John H. Sununu as a former Senator and Governor. Sununu’s son, John E. Sununu, is a former Senator. John H. Sununu is the former Governor of New Hampshire. Both men spoke at the event.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).