After presiding over early debate in proceedings that ultimately stripped Georgia Rep. Majorie Taylor Greene of her committee assignments Wednesday, Rep. Val Demings dismissed Republican leaders as cowards and “shadows of men.”
“Leadership has an awesome, tremendous obligation to right this wrong and stand up. And, unfortunately, we’ve seen, as opposed to leaders in those positions, we’ve seen cowards in those positions, or shadows of men,” Demings said Friday morning on CNN’s “New Day” show.
The Orlando Democrat did not initially name any names in her repudiation of Republican leadership. However, she later specifically criticizes House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the California Republican, for not instituting any GOP Caucus actions against Greene for her array of bizarre comments and behavior before arriving in Congress.
On Wednesday, Demings stood in as Acting Speaker as debate began in the afternoon-long deliberations on Weston Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s House Resolution 72. Shortly before 7 p.m., after Demings was relieved from the rostrum, the House approved HR 72 by a 230-199 vote, stripping Greene of her assignments to the Budget Committee and Education and Labor Committee. The resolution drew 11 Republican crossover votes, including Demings’ Florida colleagues Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart and Maria Elvira Salazar, both of Miami.
“People who believe in outlandish, conspiracy QAnon theories, hold assault weapons basically with pictures of their now-colleagues, I don’t take too kindly to that. I do believe that if Kevin McCarthy wants to be the leader, then doggone it, show some leadership. And the 199? History will judge them,” Demings said.
Demings, who retired as Orlando Police Chief after spending 26 years on the force, expressed particular resentment to Greene’s promotion of social media messages calling for killings of Democratic leaders, notably her liking of a post calling for someone to put a bullet into the brain of Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Demings was presiding when Greene gave her mea culpa speech before the debate.
“As a former police officer, I have seen far too many people die of gun violence. Some were police officers who were shot in the head and died. So I don’t take very kindly to liking posts about shooting people in the brain,” Demings said.