Republican Congressman Paul Gosar Censured Over Anime Video
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 12: Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) attends a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing titled The Capitol Insurrection: Unexplained Delays and Unanswered Questions, on Capitol Hill on May 12, 2021 in Washington, DC. The committee will hear testimony about delays in law enforcement response during the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Jonathan Ernst-Pool/Getty Images

On Wednesday afternoon, the House voted 223-207 on a resolution to censure Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar (R) after he tweeted out an anime video in which he is apparently depicted killing New York Democrat Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The vote was generally along party lines, with Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney (R) and Illinois Representative Adam Kinzinger (R) voting with the Democrats in favor of the resolution to censure the congressman for the video, which also featured Gosar “swing swords at President Biden” according to The Hill.

Although Gosar did not say that he was sorry for posting the video, he did remove the video from his accounts. He also argued that the video was not meant to promote violence.

“I do not espouse violence towards anyone. I never have. It was not my purpose to make anyone upset. I voluntarily took the cartoon down, not because it was itself a threat, but because some thought it was. Out of compassion for those who generally felt offense, I self-censored,” he said.

He also said that the video “directly contributes to the understanding and the discussion of the real-life battle resulting from this administration’s open-border policies.”

Ocasio-Cortez argued that the video showed “contempt” for the work of Congress.

“Now, this nihilism runs deep. And it conveys and betrays a certain contempt for the meaning and importance of our work here. That what we do, so long as we claim that it is a joke, doesn’t matter,” the New York congresswoman said. “That what we say here doesn’t matter. That our actions every day as elected leaders in the United States of America doesn’t matter. That this chamber and what happens in it doesn’t matter. And I am here to rise to say that it does.”

Ocasio-Cortez also talked about how it was bad for America’s leaders to “incite” violence.

She said, “And as leaders in this country, when we incite violence with depictions against our colleagues, that trickles down into violence in this country. And that is where we must draw the line, independent of party, identity, or belief.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said he thought that the sharing of the anime video did not merit a censure vote, adding that he did “not condone violence.”

“House Democrats have broken nearly every rule and standard in order to silence dissidents and pass their radical agenda,” McCarthy also said, pointing to provocative statements made by House Democrats in recent years.

After backlash last week over the video, Gosar’s office said it was meant to be “symbolic.”

“It is a symbolic cartoon. It is not real life. Congressman Gosar cannot fly. The hero of the cartoon goes after the monster, the policy monster of open borders. I will always fight to defend the rule of law, securing our borders, and the America First agenda,” the statement read.

House leaders also want to remove Gosar from his position on the House Natural Resources Committee over the anime video.

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