Politics

Pelosi: “Words have power.”

By: Chad Pergram, Trish Turner and John Brandt, FOX News

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) Thursday decried threats and acts of vandalism leveled against lawmakers from those opposed to the health care reform bill.

“We must remove all doubt that those expressions and acts of vandalism have no place in this debate,” Pelosi said. “Words have power.”

The Speaker indicated that she felt it was important to distinguish between anti-health care protesters who demonstrated peacefully this weekend at the Capitol and those who have resorted to threats of violence. Pelosi noted that even though some actions are “unsavory and menacing” that all protesters “should not be painted with the same brush.”

She also said that Democratic lawmakers who supported the health bill would not be cowed.

“Our members are undaunted and they are proud of their vote,” Pelosi said.

The Speaker later also indicated that she would like to publish a “bipartisan statement” with House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) denouncing the threats.

Rep. Phil Hare (D-IL) told FOX Thursday that he thought Boehner should step aside for not being more vocal in denouncing the threats.

“He has a responsibility to step up and put and end to this,” Hare said. “I think this is despicable.”

Also, a senior Senate Democratic leadership aide tells FOX that threats have been made against Senate Parliamentarian Alan Frumin. Frumin rose to prominence in the health care debate as he weighed Republican challenges to the legislation.

"The irony here is that he has people threatening him. But here's a guy who's held against us," said Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND).

Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terry Gainer exhorted members to "remain vigilant."

Pelosi noted that citizens have an outlet every November to make their voices heard if they don’t like the legislation rather than resorting to threats.

“We are a democracy,” Pelosi said. “Elections are a way for people to show their approval or disapproval.”