Obama warns ‘more people are going to get hurt’ if political climate persists

Nov 1 (Reuters) – Former Democratic President Barack Obama warned on Tuesday that “a lot of people are going to get hurt” unless the US political climate changes, after the House Speaker’s husband was attacked by a man wielding a hammer.

A 42-year-old man is accused of breaking into Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s home on Friday in her absence, beating her 82-year-old husband, Paul Pelosi, fracturing his skull and injuring others. The suspect pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and several other federal charges. read more

While campaigning at a Democratic candidate meeting in Nevada, the former president said he spoke with Paul Pelosi recently and “it’s going to be fine.”

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But Obama expressed deep concern about the “destruction of social and democratic values,” in a country where supporters of former Republican President Donald Trump have violently attacked the US Capitol in an attempt to undermine the results of the 2020 elections.

“This growing tendency to demonize political opponents creates a dangerous climate,” Obama said, criticizing elected officials who fail to deny violence, trivialize it, or exacerbate the situation with harsh words.

“If it’s the place we make it, a lot of people are going to get hurt.”

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Former US President Barack Obama gestures during a rally to lobby Senator Raphael Warnock for mid-term elections in Atlanta, Georgia, US, October 28, 2022. REUTERS/Dustin Chambers

Obama was in Las Vegas to lend his energy to the people in the closest races for the US Senate and the governor’s election in Nov. 8 before that. He also helped voters reduce voting in races for US Congress, attorney general and secretary of state.

The two-term president, who left office in 2017, remains a popular figure in the Democratic Party and has already stopped campaigning in Wisconsin, Michigan and Georgia.

Obama’s tour will continue Wednesday in Arizona and Saturday in Pennsylvania, two other states with tight races for governor and senator.

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In Nevada, Democratic US Senator Catherine Cortez Masto is facing a serious challenge from Republican Adam Laxalt, the former attorney general who supported Trump’s claims that the 2020 presidential election was rigged.

The Nevada race could determine which party controls the Senate, which is split 50-50 and in Democratic hands because incumbent Vice President Kamala Harris could break any ties.

In the gubernatorial race, Democrat Steve Sisolak is locked in a close race with Republican challenger Joe Lombardo, Clark County sheriff.

Daniel Trotta reports; Edited by Kim Coghill

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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