Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) is tired of Rep. Lauren Boebert’s (R-CO) antics, calling his colleague out for her “high school level” fight with Rep Ilhan Omar (D-MN) this past week.
“We are American citizens that should be working together, as opposed to engaging in what could be called antics of a high school level nature at times,” he told CNN host Kate Bolduan.
Reed was talking about recent Islamophobic comments Boebert made about Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) during an event with campaign supporters. Boebert made up a story about being in an elevator with Omar, which she used to joke that Omar is a terrorist and called her part of the “Jihad Squad.” Earlier this month, Boebert falsely claimed that Omar married her own brother in a speech on the House floor in order to insult the Black, Muslim Congresswoman.
Boebert issued an apology to “anyone in the Muslim community I offended,” but that was as far as she was willing to go. She called Omar on Monday and demanded Omar “make a public apology to the American people for her anti-American, anti-Semitic, anti-police rhetoric.”
Omar “decided to end the unproductive call” and issued a statement saying, “I believe in engaging with those we disagree with respectfully, but not when that disagreement is rooted in outright bigotry and hate.”
Boebert is new to the House this year, and Reed has been in the House for over a decade. And he is one of the few Republicans willing to call out Boebert for her rhetoric.
“I disagree and condemn the kind of comments that were made by my colleague in Congress towards a fellow colleague on the other side of the aisle,” he said on CNN.
“This is a pox on all our houses,” he continued, referring to Boebert’s lack of professionalism. “We need to focus on the American people and solving their problems. That’s got to be the mission. But these types of rhetoric exchanges are very disappointing.”
“This is the institution of Congress, this is the people’s House and we have to respect each other. We can disagree. I am a proud Republican. I know colleagues on the other side who are proud Democrats. But it doesn’t mean we go into that chamber not united as Americans first.”
Reed didn’t go so far as to call Boebert’s comments bigoted and Islamophobic, but he did say that “there’s a level of hatred I’ve never felt before” in politics. That’s more than House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who has refused to even condemn Boebert’s remarks so far.
Democrats have condemned Boebert’s remarks.
“We believe this rhetoric perpetuates actions that could undoubtedly inspire more death threats to Representative Omar and her family,” said Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH), the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. “That is unacceptable.”
Reed is retiring after this session. He announced in March 2021 that he would not run in 2022 after he admitted to touching ex-lobbyist Nicolette Davis and undoing her bra without her consent.
In his statement, Reed said that he was “at a time in my life in which I was struggling” when he assaulted Davis and that he had to go into treatment to understand that he was “powerless over alcohol.”