Apr 19, 2021 - Politics & Policy

McCarthy will introduce resolution to censure Maxine Waters for comments on "confrontational" protests

Photo of Maxine Waters surrounded by protesters
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) joins demonstrators in a protest outside the Brooklyn Center police station in Minnesota. Photo: Stephen Maturen via Getty Images

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced plans to introduce a resolution censuring Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), who over the weekend said protesters should "get more confrontational" if Derek Chauvin is acquitted.

Why it matters: Republicans have honed in on her comments, as the judge presiding over the Chauvin trial called her words "abhorrent."

Video footage shows Waters telling the press "we are looking for a guilty verdict" in Chauvin's trial.

  • "If nothing [happens], then we know ... we've got to not only stay in the streets, that we've got to fight for justice. That I am very hopeful, and I hope that we're going to get a verdict that is a guilty, guilty, guilty. And if we don't, we cannot go away," Waters said.
  • "We've got to stay on the streets," she said when asked what protesters should do if the verdict is not guilty. "We've got to get more active. We've got to get more confrontational. We've got to make sure that they know we mean business."

What they're saying: "This weekend in Minnesota, Maxine Waters broke the law by violating curfew and then incited violence," McCarthy tweeted. "Speaker Pelosi is ignoring Waters’ behavior—that’s why I am introducing a resolution to censure Rep. Waters for these dangerous comments."

  • Earlier in the day, the Republican Study Committee derisively called Waters "kerosine Maxine" in a news release.
  • The Republican National Committee also piled on, calling Democrats the "no more policing" party.

The other side: Waters accused Republicans of willfully distorting her remarks, telling theGrio she was referring to "confronting the justice system, confronting the policing that’s going on, I’m talking about speaking up."

  • "Republicans will jump on any word, any line and try to make it fit their message and their cause for denouncing us and denying us, basically calling us violent … any time they see an opportunity to seize on a word."
  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has stood by Waters, telling reporters she meant confrontation "in the manner of the civil rights movement," per Politico.
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