Conservatives on social media and on Capitol Hill are pointing to heated rhetoric from President Biden following a killing in North Dakota that left a teenager dead following a reported political disagreement.
Cayler Ellingson, 18, was killed on Sunday in North Dakota after 41-year-old Shannon Brandt allegedly ran over him with his car following a political dispute and said he believed Ellingson was a “Republican extremist,” according to court documents.
In recent days, conservatives on social media have pointed to a recent speech by President Biden suggesting that supporters of former President Trump represent an “extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic.”
“Words can have violent consequences,” Kentucky Republican Rand Paul, who was the victim of political violence along with his wife outside the Republican National Convention in 2020, told Fox News Digital in a statement. “President Biden needs to realize that his vilification of his opponents is inflaming some of his supporters to violence. As a victim of political violence, both sides need to recognize the consequences of heated rhetoric.”
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“An 18-year-old was executed in cold blood by a Democrat political terrorist because of rhetoric like this,” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., claimed on Twitter along with a video of Biden calling Trump supporters “extreme.” “Democrats want Republicans dead, and they’ve already started the killings. Democrat’s political war against patriotic Americans must end!”
“The victim’s name is Cayler Ellingson,” Breitbart News senior editor Joel Pollak tweeted. “He is like Heather Heyer, the left-winger murdered by a neo-Nazi in Charlottesville. Except the man who drove into Ellingson did so after @JoeBiden incited Democrat hate, and the press will never ask Biden to disavow.”
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“Joe Biden labeled MAGA Republicans as a threat to this country,” Kansas Republican Sen. Roger Marshall tweeted. “Now, an 18-year has been murdered for his political beliefs. This is so wrong. Praying for this young man and his family.”
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House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., who was the victim of political violence when he was shot during practice for the congressional baseball game in 2017, told Fox News Digital that Biden should condemn the “tragic” example of “leftist violence.”
“People from all parties should condemn political violence when it happens, and I would encourage President Biden and other Democrat leaders to equally condemn this heinous act,” Scalise said.
In a statement to Fox News Digital responding to the statements from Paul and Scalise, the Biden White House said it condemns political violence.
“As the President has made clear, this is a nation that rejects violence as a political tool and we do not encourage violence,” a White House spokesperson said. “It has no place in our political discourse and we condemn it.”
The White House also pointed to an excerpt from Biden’s Philadelphia speech where he said, “There is no place for political violence in America. Period. None. Ever.”