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Arizona congressman doesn’t expect post-shooting rhetoric lull to last

A balloon and card from the office of Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., is seen tied to the door of the closed office of Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., in Metairie, La., Wednesday, June 14, 2017. Scalise was shot while practicing with fellow lawmakers for a congressional baseball game in Alexandria, Va. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

LISTEN: Andy Biggs, Arizona Congressman

PHOENIX — An Arizona congressman said he does not expect a lull in divisive rhetoric following the shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise to last.

“I would like to believe that people in the world change but I’m not convinced that it will be a long-lasting change,” U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Reality Check with Darin Damme on Wednesday.

Biggs said it took mere hours after James Hodgkinson opened fire on Republican congressmen at a baseball field for people to begin battling anew on his Facebook page.

“Even on my social media, some of the people’s response to some of the stuff – we put out a (message saying) our prayers are with Whip Scalise and some of the others that we mentioned there – and, you know what? You wouldn’t believe some of the responses that we got,” he said.

Reading through the comments on Biggs’ post about the shooting confirmed what he said. While a select few said they were glad Biggs and others were fine, others were quick to blame the other side of the aisle for its rhetoric.

Biggs said the vocal Democratic opposition to Trump is not helping things.

“That’s part of ratcheting up the rhetoric that we’ve been talking about,” he said. “The opposition party, since the day after the election, has talked about impeachment and they’ve been trying to delegitimize his presidency since Day One.”

However, the congressman said he hoped the battle of words calms down soon.

“I’m hoping that some of the rhetoric tones down because it really is hot,” he said. “It is really hot right now and it needs to cool down.”

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