Appearing on MSNBC with host Chris Hayes, Steve Schmidt, who served as the spokesman of the National Republican Congressional Committee in 2001, Deputy Assistant to the President under George W. Bush, and senior campaign strategist and advisor to John McCain in his campaign for president in 2008, but left the GOP in 2018, referenced the bomber who targeted famous Democratic officials and the shooter who was responsible for the most deadly attack on Jews in American history, then launched an attack on right-wing media, stating, “Mark Levin, and Rush Limbaugh, and Breitbart, and NewsBusters, and Judicial Watch and all the rest of them have blood on their hands for the incitements that they have made.”
Levin, as well as prominent members of the Breitbart staff, are Jewish; this would seem to be the first indication that Schmidt was launching an unhinged attack.
Schmidt seems to be fond of using the “blood on his hands” meme when it comes to President Trump or those who support his policies; after Trump moved the American Embassy to Jerusalem last May and Hamas subsequently instituted riots on the Israeli border, Schmidt said Trump “had blood on his hands.”
Speaking with Hayes, Schmidt began by claiming that Trump was causing a war in the United States. He said:
Where we are is at an unprecedented place in American history. We have never had a president of the United States do what this president is doing. He is stoking a cold civil war in this country and it has turned hot on the periphery. This man (Pittsburgh shooter), what he said when he went in, “I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw the optics; I’m going in.” And he went in to kill Jews; the Jews he believed that were financing the caravan, the invading army, like a Panzer division that is threatening the southern border, an army that is racked and riddled with disease. The same type of rhetoric, the same type of propaganda that you would have seen in Germany in 1938, the dehumanization; turning people into infested vermin.
Schmidt ignored the fact that the Pittsburgh shooter hated Trump and accused him of being controlled by Jews, and somehow conflated the Pittsburgh shooter with the man who targeted prominent Democrats with pipe bombs, saying, “What Trump is doing is stoking and inciting for the purposes of political power, the worst amongst us to take action in his name.”
Then Schmidt started his assault on right-wing media:
We have a situation, whereby for the grace of God, the largest assassination attempt in American history was avoided that targeted amongst them, two former presidents of the United States. Every one of those people was a target of Donald trump’s, and this man, a fanatic, was radicalized by Fox News, by talk radio, by a right-wing propaganda machine that is as sophisticated as it has turned deadly … What we are seeing is the cooption of the conservative project, the Republican Party, in a cult of personality which is fundamentally unconservative led by Donald Trump that is authoritarian in nature, that is antithetical to the orthodoxies of the Republican party and the conservative movement as they have existed over the last fort years but it is something more: it is the incitement.
Finally, Schmidt reached the nadir of his argument as he argued that right-wing media had “blood on their hands”:
Forty percent of the country has opted into an alternate reality. We have to wake up in this country and understand the danger that this presents to all of us. We can’t put our heads in the sand. Kellyanne Conway, despicably, today goes on national television, she said, well, this shooter’s motives were because there’s a (sic) anti-religious sentiment. No, ma’am. The propaganda industry that she commands, with the vile president that she serves, abetted by Mark Levin, and Rush Limbaugh, and Breitbart, and NewsBusters, and Judicial Watch and all the rest of them have blood on their hands for the incitements that they have made that have triggered and radicalized these crazy people. It is deliberate in intent. He scapegoats minority populations; he alleges conspiracies; he creates a sense of shared and virtuous victimhood, positions himself as the avenger, and there is no cost too high so long as it benefits his narcissism, so long as it benefits him politically.