Republicans accuse Pingree of using Arizona shooting for political gain

Posted Jan. 10, 2011, at 10:48 a.m.
Last modified Nov. 05, 2011, at 10:59 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Republican Party on Monday accused Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-1st District, of using for political gain Saturday’s shooting in Arizona that critically injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Arizona, and killed six, including a federal judge.

In a press release, the Maine Republican Party attacked Pingree for an article she penned for the Huffington Post titled “For Gabby’s Sake, Republicans Should Change the Name of Their Health Care Repeal Bill,” in which Pingree calls for Congress “to crank down the rhetoric a few notches.”

“In a way, though, it doesn’t really matter what prompted this act of senseless violence. What really matters is that we do everything we can to prevent it from happening again,” Pingree wrote, citing Sarah Palin’s now-infamous poster that has crosshairs on vulnerable Democratic districts, including Giffords’, and a Republican bill to repeal health care reform, titled “Repeal the Job Killing Health Care Law Act.”

“Don’t get me wrong — I’m not suggesting that the name of that one piece of legislation somehow led to the horror of this weekend — but is it really necessary to put the word “killing” in the title of a major piece of legislation?” Pingree writes.

“Chellie Pingree should be ashamed of herself,” Charlie Webster, chair of the Maine Republican Party, said in the press release. “As the nation mourns this tragic and horrifying act, Pingree is using it to attack Republican legislation.”

“Politics is a rough business, but at times like these, we all need to show some respect,” the press release quotes Webster as saying. “Anyone who has followed Representative Pingree’s career knows she’s an extremist, but this is outrageous. Chellie Pingree’s concern should be for the victims and their families, not for the potential for political gain.”

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