The Republican National Committee has rejected a proposal from its Democratic counterpart to sign a joint “civility” statement, POLITICO has learned.
Various members of the DNC — including Chairman Tim Kaine, Executive Director Jen O’Malley Dillon and Communications Director Brad Woodhouse — contacted their respective RNC counterparts this week in hopes of getting RNC Chairman Michael Steele to co-sign a document with Kaine that, in part, called for “elected officials of both parties to set an example of the civility we want to see in our citizenry.”
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“We also call on all Americans to respect differences of opinion, to refrain from inappropriate forms of intimidation, to reject violence and vandalism, and to scale back rhetoric that might reasonably be misinterpreted by those prone to such behavior,” read the proposed joint statement, which came at the end of a week which saw acts of vandalism and threats of violence directed at members of Congress from both parties, but mostly aimed at Democrats who voted “yes” on the health care bill.
Republicans see the statement as an attempt to force them to either reject the statement — allowing Democrats to say the RNC finds the incidents acceptable — or to sign on to something that the DNC would later wield against them.