House Democrats introduced a resolution on Friday to censure Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), after he shared an anime video on social media that depicted him killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) with a sword and injuring President Joe Biden.
“Depictions of violence can foment actual violence and jeopardize the safety of elected officials, as witnessed in this chamber on January 6, 2021,” the resolution reads.
The resolution was introduced by Rep. Jackie Speier, who survived five gunshot wounds during the 1978 Jonestown Massacre. It has 60 Democratic co-sponsors and is likely to have bipartisan support. Axios reports:
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) “would need to see the wording of the resolution” before he votes for it, but is “generally” supportive, his spokesperson Maura Gillespie told Axios.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) also called Gosar’s actions “indefensible” in an AP interview, but other Republicans, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, have been largely silent on the matter.
Gosar deleted the video, but his office was unapologetic.
“Everyone needs to relax. The left doesn’t get meme culture. They have no joy. They are not the future. It’s a cartoon,” a Gosar spokesperson told The Washington Post.
“This video is truly a symbolic portrayal of a fight over immigration policy,” Gosar explained in a statement. He claimed he doesn’t “espouse violence or harm towards any Member of Congress or Mr. Biden.”
NPR describes the video in question:
The 92-second clip appears to be an edited version of the opening credits of the Japanese manga series Attack on Titan.
It intersperses clips of migrants and Border Patrol agents, images of Democratic leaders and animation of Republican politicians — including Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Lauren Boebert of Colorado — on the attack. Blood spatters and words like drugs, crime, murder, poverty, gangs, violence and trafficking flash on the screen at points.
More from NPR:
Ocasio-Cortez castigated Gosar in a series of tweets on Monday, spanning the personal and the political. She slammed Gosar’s video as just one of several incidents of harassment she has faced on the job, arguing that institutions — Congress included — fail to protect women of color.
“So while I was en route to Glasgow, a creepy member I work with who fundraises for Neo-Nazi groups shared a fantasy video of him killing me,” she wrote. “And he’ll face no consequences bc [House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy] cheers him on with excuses. Fun Monday! Well, back to work bc institutions don’t protect woc.”
Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the highest ranking GOP member in the House, has not commented on Gosar’s video.
Gosar’s sister, Jennifer, told CNN that the congressman’s behavior “definitely is getting worse, because no one — no one — holds him accountable.”