Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder clarified the "kick them" remark he made about political opponents in an interview Tuesday night on CNN. Holder told host Don Lemon he was trying to say that Democrats "have to be prepared to be tough," it was not meant to encourage physical violence. Holder, however, did say that there "are always going to be people" who will resort to violence.
"Michelle [Obama] always says ‘When they go low, we go high,'" Holder told the crowd. "No. No. When they go low, we kick them," Holder said at a campaign event for Georgia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams in October.
"So you say that it was a figure of speech, that you weren't advocating violence but Republicans don't care. They've branded you along with other Democrats as angry, an angry violent mob. Are you worried how this could play out?" host Don Lemon asked
"Well, I mean, what I was saying was really a metaphor for the notion that people who try to undermine our democracy should be opposed, and we as Democrats should be tough in that opposition. I wasn't advocating violence obviously. And a lot of this outrage that you have seen on another news channel and by Republicans is really -- is fake. You know, it's made up. They're trying to use it for political advantage," the former AG said.
"Now, I am not one, however, who thinks that politicians should be confronted in restaurants or at their homes," Holder said. "I disagree violently with, you know, vehemently with what Ted Cruz has said, but I wouldn't approach him in a restaurant. Let him have dinner, you know, with his family and have a civil debate with him in another context."
"As I watched, Mr. Holder, and I see the division on both sides, people are really far right or far left and they're angry, are you concerned at all about violence?" Lemon
"Well, I mean, you know, there are always going to be people on the extremes who will resort to violence, but that's not what's best about America, and it's not the way in which these elections should be decided. So, yeah, I'm worried about people on the fringes. But the vast majority of Americans, you know, we're a noisy nation, you know?