The House floor erupted Thursday after Congress adjourned for the week when an unidentified Republican congressman yelled a controversial and potentially racially charged remark across the aisle as Democratic Rep. Tony Cárdenas was at the podium.
“Go back to Puerto Rico!” the lawmaker shouted, punctuating a stream of Republican whooping and hollering at the Democratic majority for holding a voice vote — instead of the normal roll call vote — to pass a continuing resolution that would reopen nine Cabinet departments through Feb. 28.
Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee and other Democrats in the chamber shot out of their seats demanding to know who shouted the comment.
Cárdenas walked over to the Republican side of the aisle and huddled with some GOP lawmakers, but none stepped forward to admit they had shouted the remark.
The bravado of making a cheap shot from the safety and anonymity of one’s “wolf pack”, followed by the craven cowardice of not owning up to your own actions — again, from the safety and anonymity of the pack — is the not the sort of thing that people who claim to be grown men do. One would hope that they’d have left this sort of behavior in high school — perhaps this high school:
Later, this man called Cardenas to apologize:
From another report:
Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO) called Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA) to apologize for yelling “go back to Puerto Rico!” while the California-born Democrat prepared to speak on the House floor Thursday.
“While waiting to speak on the floor of the People’s House, a member of Congress shouted, ‘go back to Puerto Rico!’ I was shocked, because I often heard those kinds of comments when I was a kid growing up in Pacoima, California, where I was born and raised,” Cardenas told TPM through a spokesperson. “A few hours later, I received a call from Congressman Jason Smith, who took responsibility for the comment and sincerely apologized. I accepted his apology.”
“I told him I look forward to having a nice and respectful conversation when we return to D.C. on Tuesday. He agreed that we should get to know each other better,” Cardenas continued. “I appreciate his call and our future relationship. There is a saying that I was taught by my parents, de todo lo malo, siempre sale algo bueno, which in English means, ‘from everything bad, something good will come of it.’”