Betty McCollum is a Democrat running for re-election in Minnesota’s 4th congressional district.
It looks like she’s going to win her seat back, but not before a last-second attack from her opponent.
The attacks comes courtesy of an 8-year-old video of McCollum leading the Pledge of Allegiance in the House of Representatives.
It turns out she leaves the words “Under God” out of the Pledge.
Was that on purpose or just a case of nerves?
You be the judge:
The Republicans were on her case because omitting those words is obviously a good enough reason not to vote for her.
Yesterday, McCollum’s staff responded with this statement:
Congresswoman Betty McCollum honors and respects the Pledge of Allegiance and believes the United States is one Nation under God. She has led the Pledge of Allegiance on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives numerous times as can be seen in these video links.
Conservatives are using an eight year old video clip to incite hate, racism, and intolerance among Tea Party Republicans. This right-wing effort to call into question Congresswoman McCollum’s Christian faith, her belief in God, and her patriotism is blatantly anti-American and all too similar to the extremists who earlier this year mailed a soiled American flag to her Congressional office and threatened the Congresswoman with violence.
Congresswoman McCollum rejects this radical agenda and condemns the extremist tactics behind this poisonous political exploitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.
So what happened? I see two possibilities:
1) She meant to say “Under God” but just messed up — she forgot the line, took a breath, etc.
2) She intentionally skipped the phrase at the time but is now backtracking.
I don’t know which option is worse.
For what it’s worth, McCollum is a Catholic. And when she says the Pledge on other occasions, she does include the “Under God” phrase.
But right-wingers don’t seem to care about that:
Staffers said McCollum’s office has been inundated with outraged phone calls and e-mails today…
McCollum’s office also reported several profanity-laced phone calls and at least one profanity-laced death-threat letter — containing disturbing imagery and rhetoric — so far today, following the re-emergence of the video.
It would’ve been great to hear McCollum say she omitted the words on purpose and here’s the reason why… but that’s pretty much out of the question in this political climate.
One day, right…?
(Thanks to Pat for the link)