Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford) is facing a backlash regarding a statement she made Wednesday on a radio talk show that “so many people who commit mass murders end up being Democrats.” But Tenney wouldn’t go into detail about it at a media event in Onondaga County Thursday, regarding the impact of tax reform on businesses.
Tenney’s response to the comment was a statement released last night that said her answer followed a question about the failure to prosecute illegal gun crime. She didn’t add much more to that Thursday at a news event in Tully.
“All I suggest, we sent out a statement, run the entire interview, run it on your media platform, and people can see exactly what I said,” she said.
During the interview, Tenney said she feared that “lawful gun owners are going to be targeted now, even though in their demographic they have the least amount of crimes of virtually any other demographic.”
In response, talk show host Fred Dicker said “But they tend to be Republican. They tend to be white. Most gun crimes are occurring in what’s euphemistically called the inner cities involving minorities and they’re the ones the Democrats generally are going to bend over backwards to protect.”
Tenney replied “Obviously there’s a lot of politics in it. And it’s interesting that so many of these people that commit the mass murders end up being Democrats. But the media doesn’t talk about that either.”
Media outlets from across the country have picked up on the story. And Democrats, who have hopes of seizing the 22nd Congressional District seat from the freshman Republican, have pounced on it. Tenney’s opponent this fall, Democrat Anthony Brindisi, is calling on her to apologize for the statement.
Late Wednesday, Tenney released a statement and said “I am fed up with the media and liberals attempting to politicize tragedies and demonize law-abiding gun owners and conservative Americans every time there is a horrible tragedy.”
Tenney said Thursday she’s not ready to answer questions about the controversy, instead telling reporters at an event at Suit-Kote Corporation in Tully, that she didn’t want to overshadow the reason for her visit. Suit-Kote officials announced Thursday that the company will give raises to employees and add more contributions to employee retirement plans. Officials credit the new federal tax law.
“Believe me I would love to talk to it and I will. Let’s get the news cycle going so these employees can get the credit for what they’ve done,” said Tenney.
When a reporter asked Tenney if she regretted what she said Wednesday, she said “No, not at all.”