Rep. Claudia Tenney attempted to clarify a recent statement that Democrats were more prone to be mass shooters by saying once again that many who commit mass violence lean Democratic.
In an interview Wednesday, the New York Republican caused significant blowback by saying, “It’s interesting that so many of these people that commit the mass murders end up being Democrats, but the media doesn’t talk about that.”
When asked by WKTV whether she would take back her words or clarify them, Tenney didn’t back down from her position that mass shooters tend to come from the left side of the political spectrum.
“I don’t think either party has a monopoly on this, but there are many who are either Democrats, left-leaning or you could describe that there’s a lot that aren’t really registered to vote, but they’re left-leaning,” Tenney said in the interview by the Utica CNN affiliate, which aired Friday.
Tenney pointed to the shooter who attacked a practice of the Republican congressional baseball team in June 2017 in Alexandria, Virginia, as an example.
In the initial wake of the interview, Tenney blamed the media and liberals for taking her words out of context. On Friday she said she would’ve altered her comments slightly.
“I would say many are Democrats or left-leaning, not registered Democrats, which is – what’s the difference? Many of them are of all persuasions, which is how I responded and reacted,” she said. “I put out an immediate statement.”
Tenney’s fellow Republican and predecessor, former Rep. Richard Hanna, told WIBX radio in Utica that Tenney’s original comments amounted to “hate speech.”
Tenney, a first-term member of Congress, is running in one of the most competitive districts in the country. Her opponent, Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, has the support and backing of the powerful Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which has been putting out news releases and statements attacking Tenney.
Brindisi also appeared on WKTV on Friday and called on Tenney to apologize for her comments.
“I think the tone of the campaign – I hope it’s going to stay positive. I think these comments that were made by her are very regretful,” he said. “I think she should apologize for them.”