In the wake of the news that U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar received a death threat from a retired school teacher, an avowed supporter of Democratic Senate Candidate Mark Kelly, his political opponents fired barbs at him.
The Arizona Daily Independent reported Saturday that the threat was received Monday, Aug. 31, at the Republican congressman’s Prescott district office.
The death threat — “I think it’s totally ok for me to come with my gun and shoot you in the head… and you are just going down” — was left on the office’s voice mail.
The suspect, Margaret Kathleen Spangenberg, was initially identified through caller ID, and later confirmed by U.S. Capitol Police, who sent a warning poster with her photo, said Tom Van Flein, Gosar’s chief of staff.
Federal law enforcement is investigating the case.
The day after the story on the death threat was published, U.S. Senator Martha McSally, R-Arizona, wrote a tweet in response:
Having experienced this type of threat firsthand, this is horrifying. The silence from the media and the Left is unacceptable. We must be unified in condemning threats and violence in all forms.
Gosar, a fifth-term Congressman and leader of the conservative wing, also responded on Twitter on Sunday:
If a crazed Leftist feels so emboldened against members of Congress in which such threats are a felony you can see how shooting a Trump supporter on the streets is the next step. We need law and order now.
Gosar retweeted the ADI story, adding this message: THANK YOU to the law enforcement officials for responding & helping to keep my office safe. I salute you!
He also sent out this tweet:
The suspect is a big @CaptMarkKelly activist. Violence against conservatives is trickling down from antifa street mobs to the “red for ed” socialists. I am told @CapitolPolice is investigating.
Dr. Kelli Ward, chairwoman of the Arizona Republican Party, responded to the story of the death threat on Sunday with this tweet, pinning part of the blame on the opposition party:
This is the Democrats’ America. They have totally abdicated their duty as elected officials to maintain #Law and Order in America, and now they have lost control of the Extreme and Radical Left.
Monday Morning a new flurry of tweets was unleashed, as Republicans bashed Kelly for remaining silent about the death threat:
Ward tweeted: WHAT IS THE DEAL? Mark Kelly is refusing to condemn his violent supporter who threatened to shoot @DrPaulGosar in the head! The mainstream media is either asleep at the wheel or actively covering for Kelly’s campaign. Really sick, integrity lost! …
Gosar retweeted Ward’s tweet, adding this message: The Left endorses political violence. Candidate @CaptMarkKelly should take a stand against this. Silence condones violence.
Ward, a former Arizona state senator, also issued a press statement Monday morning, in which she said that Kelly’s silence on controversial subjects is nothing new.
“What is new is his apparent timidity to denounce cut-and-dried issues such as one of his supporters threatening to shoot and kill a sitting congressman,” Ward said. “Kelly’s refusal to condemn this egregious display of hatred and threat of violence should convince voters that he shares the same ideology of other extreme, far-left Democrats who have sided with rioters and the mob against law-abiding Americans.”
Ward said that Kelly should not be trusted with the position of U.S. Senator, “because the overwhelming majority of Arizona voters respect the rule of law and will reject those who don’t share that core value.”
Kelly responded Monday Morning with this tweet:
I know what it means to have an act of violence committed against a Member of Congress and family member. I strongly condemn the threat against Rep. Gosar. Threats of violence like this are wrong. I’m glad Capitol Police is investigating.
Gosar retweeted Kelly’s message and responded with “Thank You.”
After Kelly sent his message against the death threat, The Arizona Republic published a story on the case. Other mainstream media outlets have ignored the death threat against the prominent congressman.