Former President Barack Obama commented on the attack against Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, during a speech on Saturday in Michigan, saying that elected officials need to do “more” to reject dangerous rhetoric.
Obama made the comments after Paul Pelosi was violently attacked early Friday morning in the couple’s San Francisco home. San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said David DePape, 42, hit Paul Pelosi at least once with a hammer.
When officers arrived at the Pelosi’s residence, Scott said that both Paul Pelosi and DePape were struggling over the hammer. Officers demanded the men drop the hammer, according to Scott, and DePape began attacking Paul Pelosi.
Paul Pelosi was sent to a local hospital, where he underwent surgery to repair a skull fracture as well as other injuries, according to a spokesperson for Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He is expected to make a full recovery.
Obama reacted to the attack during a campaign event for the Michigan Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
“But here’s one thing that we can feel, we know, if our rhetoric about each other gets that mean. When we don’t just disagree with people, but we start demonizing them, making wild, crazy allegations about them. That creates a dangerous climate. And if elected officials don’t do more to explicitly reject that kind of rhetoric, if they tacitly support it or encourage their supporters to stand up inside voting places armed with guns and dressed in tactical gear, more people can get hurt,” Obama said.
“And we’re going to be violating the basic spirit of this country,” he added.
Obama was then interrupted by a man in the crowd.
“Sir, this is what I’m saying,” Obama said, responding to the heckler. “We’ve got a process that we set up in our democracy.”
President Biden also commented on the attack during a speech on Friday night in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, calling it “despicable.”
“There’s no place in America. There’s too much violence, political violence, too much hatred, too much vitriol,” Biden said. “And what makes us think that one party can talk about stolen elections? COVID being a hoax? It’s all a bunch of lies.”
Fox News’ Timothy Nerozzi contributed to this report.