Bernie Marcus, co-founder of Home Depot, said he hopes the shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and others at a congressional baseball practice Wednesday morning will bring an end to the “vicious rhetoric that’s been going on between both parties.”
In an interview on the FOX Business Network, Marcus said “I wish that the president would sit down with the leadership of the Democratic Party and say guys, let’s cut it out. Let’s get together and let’s start working together and accomplish what has to be accomplished."
The assailant, identified as James T. Hodgkinson of Illinois, was shot by Capitol Police. He was later confirmed dead by President Donald Trump during an address from the White House. Scalise underwent surgery for his injuries and is in stable condition according to his office.
Marcus said he is “so worried about the life of the President of the United States, Paul Ryan,” as well as the head of the Senate, following what appears to be a politically motivated attack on members of Congress.
“I hope that from both parties they’re beginning to reflect on how dangerous this is to our way of life, and it cannot continue this way,” Marcus said. “If they continue to dramatically say that the President is not an elected official, doesn’t belong there, there’s going to be other nuts like this Hodgkinson that’s going to be out there. There are plenty of nuts out there, and you feed these people and before you know it they’re going to do something dangerous.”
In particular, Marcus cited the Democrats' backlash toward the GOP’s bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare, in which he challenged Senator Chuck Schumer to get involved in the legislative process if he disagrees with the health care policy.
“If I could get Schumer in a room and sit down with him and say Senator I don’t get you. You keep talking about how terrible the House version of the ObamaCare bill thing is, and how bad it’s going to be in the Senate,” Marcus said. “Why won’t you join in trying to make a better bill?”
He added that partisan divide has been a constant throughout history, but “somewhere along the line they would join and work on solutions together.”