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Transcript: Rep. Tom Emmer on “Face the Nation,” Oct. 30, 2022.

The following is a transcript of an interview with Republican Representative Tom Emmer of Minnesota that aired Sunday, October 30, 2022 on Face the Nation.


MARGARET BRENNAN: Now to the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, Minnesota Congressman Tom Emmer. Good morning. Good thing you’re here in person.

REPRESENTATIVE TOM EMER: Good morning.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I have to ask you about what we just talked about here. How concerned are you about the risk of political violence and how should it be minimized?

REP. EMER: There is no place in our society for violence, physical violence or violence against anyone’s property. I think you already covered it this morning, the incident in San Francisco, as tragic as it is, I think we need more information on that. But we should all feel sorry for Paul Pelosi and his family. I hope there will be a 100% recovery.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And just to be absolutely clear, do you condemn any attacks on the Pelosi family?

REP. EMER: Absolutely. There should be no attacks, period. There should be no violence in our society. Again, whether political or otherwise, it has no place in a civilized society.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, I’m glad you said that, because I want to ask you about something in our CBS News poll that shows that even if the Republicans are poised to lead this race and take control of the House, we see suspicions especially among Republicans about the voting process. The vast majority of Republicans support the idea of ​​having citizens challenge election officials as they process and report election night vote counts. We’re seeing it on the screen right now. Two-thirds of Republicans support the idea of ​​private citizens patrolling ballot boxes and polling places. It’s just Republicans. We don’t see that with the Democrats. We do not see this with independents. Would you urge citizens not to patrol polling stations?

REP. EMER: Well, you chose the words, Margaret. I would say that Republicans, Democrats, independents, all American citizens are very aware, as your previous guest just mentioned, of our election process. I think it will be a very good election because people have woken up. They pay attention. They have to volunteer to observe the elections, it’s a government system. Whatever your state requires or allows, you absolutely must participate. And I think that will help the process.

MARGARET BRENNAN: To be absolutely clear, voter observation is different from voter intimidation, which is illegal.

REP. EMER: No one needs to be intimidated when they exercise their most precious right to vote.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So when you see video, like we saw in a place like Arizona, where you see people with tactical gear, well, you see people with guns outside of boxes, where do you classify that?

REP. EMER: Again, no one should feel intimidated when they exercise their right to vote–

MARGARET BRENNAN: So it’s intimidating?

REP. EMER: You have stories on both sides of the aisle. You get stories in different states about how people felt their rights were violated. I think cooler heads should prevail.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes.

REP. EMER: I really think we will have a good election. I think you have over 50 million already participating in early voting across the country. I think you will have a great turnout nine days after the election. And I think, again, Republicans and Democrats and others are well aware of the challenges we’ve had during COVID. People stepped up and tried to make sure we were protected and safe, but they adjusted election laws as they went along. I think a lot of that has been resolved. I think after nine days you will see a really good experience.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay. Therefore, you would urge citizens not to patrol polling stations.

REP. EMER: Once again, I urge everyone to participate…

MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay.

REP. EMER: –whatever your state allows, participate. Volunteer. Exactly what your previous guest said.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay. I want to ask you because this ballot also talks about the relationship between the election and the undermining of confidence in the 2020 election. And you’re on our list of 307 Republicans running for office who have expressed doubts about the integrity of the election. I mean, they’re drawing a straight line between the mistrust then and what we’re seeing now. Don’t you feel sorry for sowing doubts yourself?

REP. EMER: What you mean, I never had any doubts about the election. I definitely raised questions –

MARGARET BRENNAN: You signed this amicus brief in Texas…

REP. EMER: Sure, let’s talk about it…

MARGARET BRENNAN: — it went to the Supreme Court to overturn it.

REP. EMER: What’s been said, Margaret, what’s been said in this amicus brief is that many people, governors, attorneys general, secretaries of state, have taken unilateral action during the change of the COVID–

MARGARET BRENNAN: Yes…

REP. EMER: –change in electoral legislation–

MARGARET BRENNAN: So you don’t regret it…

REP. EMER: Again, if I can finish, changing the election laws themselves to try to make sure that we were safe when we exercised our right to vote. That particular amicus brief said only that we should reaffirm that state legislatures, and state legislatures alone, make election laws. So as we move forward, once we get out of COVID, we have to–

MARGARET BRENNAN: So…

REP. EMER: –get back to it.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Just so we’re clear, you don’t consider yourself an election denialist?

REP. EMER: Not at all.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And Joe Biden is the legitimately elected president of the United States of America

REP. EMER: He is sworn, he serves. He is the president of the United States.

MARGARET BRENNAN: He’s the president of the United States.

REP. EMER: In nine days we have elections. In nine days, we had the election that we have been working on for the last two years. You reported in the introduction that eight out of ten Americans in the same poll you mention are concerned about where this country is. They say it’s out of control.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You’re not undermining, you’re not going to undermine the credibility of the 2020 election.

REP. EMER: Eight out of ten Americans now think we’re on the wrong track. This is what they will vote for.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I know. And I would like to talk not about what people experience in their lives. But alas, we are there. I want to ask you about this when it comes to political violence. On your Twitter feed, you posted this video that we’re about to show — just a few days ago — of you shooting a gun, and it says, “I enjoyed exercising my Second Amendment rights. Hashtag shoot Pelosi.” Why a gun in a political ad at all?

REP. EMER: It wasn’t an advertisement. I tweeted –

MARGARET BRENNAN: Tweet. Hashtag shooting at Pelosi with a gun –

REP. EMMER – What I just did.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Wouldn’t a pink bug be more appropriate when it comes to her dismissal?

REP. EMER: That’s interesting…

MARGARET BRENNAN: Why the gun?

REP. EMER: And it’s interesting, Margaret, that we’re talking about this this morning when a couple of years ago, when a Bernie Sanders supporter shot Steve Scalise…

MARGARET BRENNAN: Which was horrible and horrible…

REP. EMER: If a Bernie Sanders supporter…

MARGARET BRENNAN: That’s why we shouldn’t…

REP. EMER: shot Steve Scalise…

MARGARET BRENNAN: Lay down your arms –

REP. EMER: I’ve never heard you or anyone else in the media try to blame the Democrats for what happened. We need to focus on what we all do…

MARGARET BRENNAN: We’ve covered extensively what happened to Steve Scalise.

REP. EMER: Excuse me?

MARGARET BRENNAN: There was extensive coverage, sir.

REP. EMER: No one tried to equate the Democrats’ rhetoric with the people…

MARGARET BRENNAN: I’m not talking about your rhetoric. I am talking about what you posted. You shoot a gun. Our viewers just saw it.

REP. EMER: Yes, exactly.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Hashtag Fires Pelosi.

REP. EMER: Exercising his Second Amendment rights, having fun…

MARGARET BRENNAN: This is not a debate about the Second Amendment.

REP. EMER: –shooting a gun. yes

MARGARET BRENNAN: This is not a debate about the Second Amendment.

REP. EMER: Yes.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Hashtag Fires Pelosi.

REP. EMER: Yes. I’m… I’m running a campaign operation…

MARGARET BRENNAN: Don’t you realize that it suggests people who are in bad shape. And in the current climate, how risky is it, what are you talking about…

REP. EMER: Well, I don’t agree, Margaret.

MARGARET BRENNAN: –these problems of lowering rhetoric.

REP. EMER: I don’t agree with you.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Why can’t you leave it?

REP. EMER: Again, I never saw anyone after Steve Scalise was shot…

MARGARET BRENNAN: I’m talking about the fact that right now…

REP. EMER: — a Bernie Sanders supporter.

MARGARET BRENNAN: What’s happening now.

REP. EMER: Trying to equate Democrats’ rhetoric with these actions. Please don’t do this.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay. Looking at your candidates, Republican candidates spent more than $116 million on ads that mentioned Speaker Pelosi in their cycle. If it’s about problems, why not make it about problems? Why not depersonalize it?

REP. EMER: It’s absolutely about problems. We are talking about the fact that we have double-digit inflation, the cost of living is increasing. We have a crime wave across the country that is a direct result, a direct result of –

MARGARET BRENNAN: We’re eight days in at this point, don’t you think that should be changed? Why not pull some of these ads? Why not just delete your tweet?

REP. EMER: I’m sure people like to talk about anything but what the Democrats have done to this country, which frankly has an exploding cost of living, a crime wave in our major cities, which is the result of this “tag the police” nonsense “. and non-cash collateral.

I mean, you look at New York, where you put someone in jail at 9 in the evening for assaulting someone on the street, and they go out again at 9 in the morning and commit crimes. Again, you look at my home state of Minnesota, Minneapolis, there have been 6,000 assaults since the beginning of the year. Margaret, these are questions that concern every voter in this country. Therefore, they are going to appear – on November 8. And that’s why the Republicans are going to win the midterm elections.

MARGARET BRENNAN: That’s what our projections show. But I would like to suggest more pink slips, less guns in our advertising in this environment. Sir, thank you for joining us on Face the Nation. We will be back soon. Stay with us.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/tom-emmer-face-the-nation-transcript-10-30-2022/

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