During a press scrum on Friday, new House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) clutched pearls over Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s (D-MI) use of the swear “motherfucker.”
“You know what happened in the last Congress, when Republicans were in the majority?” McCarthy said. “You know what our freshman class did? They put a resolution together to actually work with one another, to not use foul language. And they got almost every single freshmen to sign on to it. This is the difference with this Congress, and it’s wrong.”
But as reporter J.D. Durkin of Cheddar immediately pointed out, McCarthy — a staunch Trump supporter — doesn’t really have a leg to stand on when it comes to trying to score political points on bad language.
“Leader McCarthy, with all due respect though, the president not too long ago referred to a woman as ‘horseface,’” Durkin said, referring to a tweet Trump posted in October slamming Stormy Daniels, a woman who claims she had an affair with him and was paid to remain silent about it. “Who within your caucus called out the president for that type of language?”
McCarthy, without citing any examples, responded by saying, “I think a lot of them did.” He then walked off before reporters could ask him any follow-ups.
Beyond the “horseface” tweet, there are plenty of examples that could be cited of the president using inappropriate language.
To name a few, Trump referred to Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) as “Schitt” in November. He was infamously caught on a hot mic bragging about groping women. During the 2016 campaign, he regularly used profanities like “ass,” “shit,” and “fuck” at his rallies.
Here's the entire compilation of Trump swearing up a fucking storm.— Holly Figueroa O'Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) January 4, 2019
If you are offended by Rashida Tlaib's colorful language but not Trump's, your problem might not be the language.#fridayfeeling #fridaymotivation pic.twitter.com/GaIIqu2qJL
Indeed, many reporters were quick to point out that it’s not just Talib and Trump who are prone to using profanity while holding elected office.
People apparently have no idea how often we hear elected officials of both parties drop f-bombs off the record.— Kimberly Atkins (@KimberlyEAtkins) January 4, 2019
McCarthy’s hypocrisy goes beyond his support for Trump. In 2018, he campaigned for then-Rep. Jason Lewis (R-MN), who was recorded complaining that he could no longer refer to sexually active women as “sluts.”
“Nothing worse than the president has said”
In a video clip that quickly went viral, Tlaib used the f-word on Thursday evening while calling for Trump’s impeachment.
“When your son looks at you and said ‘Mamma, look, you won — bullies don’t win.’ And I said, ‘Baby they don’t, because we’re gonna go in there and we’re gonna impeach the motherfucker!’” she said, at a MoveOn event held in Washington, DC, held just hours after she was sworn in to Congress.
Congresswoman @RashidaTlaib tells cheering crowd that Trump impeachment coming— Jon Levine (@LevineJonathan) January 4, 2019
“We’re going to go in and impeach the motherfucker” pic.twitter.com/oQJYqR78IA
While Tlaib is not the only House Democrat calling for Trump’s impeachment, caucus leadership promptly distanced themselves from both the tone and content of her remarks.
During an MSNBC town hall on Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticized Tlaib’s comments, saying “impeachment is a very divisive approach” and “I don’t like that language.” But Pelosi also pointed out that Tlaib’s comments are “nothing worse than the president has said.”