‘Members Are Not Looked at as People’: Managers of Republican, Democratic Baseball Teams Hold Presser
Congressmen Joe Barton and Mike Doyle, the managers of the Republican and Democratic baseball teams, held a joint press conference to say that tomorrow’s game will proceed as planned.
The legislators came together this afternoon after the shooting at the GOP team’s practice today, which left Congressman Steve Scalise injured.
The most important theme of the presser was civility and bipartisanship. Doyle invited the GOP team to dinner tonight and Barton accepted, while joking, “I will bring my food taster.”
When asked if the political climate has changed, Barton had this to say:
“I think the Internet and Twitter and all the instantaneous aspect of the news cycle has made it more persona, and members flying back to their district every weekend––very few members live up here. You know, it is a different climate today than it was in 1985 when I first got elected. Part of it is technology and part of it is the way politics have evolved. The attack politics and the 15-second attack ads and things like that. Members are not looked at as people anymore. We’re kind looked at as –– I won’t say targets, but –– but people think they can come to our town hall meetings and say just the most obnoxious things and we not feel it personally. I can assure you every member of Congress is a person. He has family, and while we try not to show it, sometimes we do take it personally.”
Doyle agreed and added, “I wouldn’t think of being harsh to Joe Barton no matter what we may disagree about politically because I feel like he’s a family friend, but there’s so much pressure on members to get home right after the last vote.”
He also agreed on the point that social media has not contributed very positively to the discourse.
Barton, whose 10-year-old son Jack was at the practice earlier when shots rang out, said that no matter how people feel about elected officials, “your family shouldn’t be exposed to that.”
Watch above, via CNN.
[image via screengrab]
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