The owner of a Tennessee restaurant said his hosting of a campaign event for Republican senatorial candidate Marsha Blackburn has prompted death threats, verbal abuse of his staff, boycotts and people calling him a Nazi sympathizer.
Tom Courtney, owner of Courtney’s Restaurant and Catering in Mount Juliet, Tennessee, said some customers have posted messages online saying they love the food but won’t come again.
“I have never in my life experienced such a thing. It’s scary,” he told a local newspaper, the Wilson Post.
“The radical Left is out of control, and their angry mob is right here in Tennessee,” she wrote. “Tom, we appreciate your opening your restaurant up to us, and we hope you are treated with the same respect as you treat your customers.”
Courtney told the Wilson Post he didn’t file a police report about the threats.
“At first, I didn’t make a deal,” he said. “Right to free speech and everything. I don’t need to expose the idiots who are keyboard crazy and damage a small local business. The ghosts behind their posts. It will blow over.
“I’m just blown away though.”
Courtney said he would have rented his room to Blackburn’s opponent, former Democratic Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen, if he had asked.
The owner said he’s been “called a Nazi sympathizer of all things.”
“It’s hurt my business, my staff, me and my family,” Courtney said.
“I’ve never seen grown people, or whoever is hidden behind the screens, act in such a manner. I have partners.”
Hillary: Civility returns when Democrats win
The threats came after 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that Democrats can’t be civil with Republicans in the majority.
“You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about,” Clinton said. “That’s why I believe if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and or the Senate, that’s when civility can start again. But until then, the only thing that the Republicans seem to recognize and respect is strength.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reacted with remarks on the Senate floor.
“She told CNN exactly how she views millions of Americans who hold different political views than her own,” McConnell said. “No peace until they get their way? More of these unhinged tactics? Apparently, these are the left’s rallying cry.”
McConnell addressed the many incidents of harassment and attacks on Republicans by “angry mobs” of progressives, which he believes will help his party win on Nov. 6.
“Far left activists decided that the United States Senate and their members should be harassed and intimidated wherever they might be,” he said. “In a restaurant, with family, getting out of their own car or in their own home.”
McConnell said that during the Supreme Court confirmation process for Judge Brett Kavanaugh, protesters “disregarded the men and women of the Capitol Police and the Supreme Court, climbed on statues and tried to literally shout down senators right in the middle of a roll call vote.”
On Oct. 11, vandals in New York smashed the windows of the Metropolitan Republican Club and left a graffiti warning: “Our attack is merely a beginning.”
A day later, Republican Minnesota state Rep. Shane Mekeland said he received a concussion on Oct. 12 when he was assaulted by a man he believed was politically motivated. On Sunday, Minnesota state Rep. Sarah Anderson said she was attacked after calling out a man who was kicking over campaign yard signs. Declaring himself an “anarchist,” he chased her into the street and told her to kill herself.
Back in June, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., famously called for public harassment of Republicans.
“If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere,” Waters told supporters.
Waters’ call came a week after Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and senior adviser Stephen Miller were harassed at restaurants. Days later, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders and family members was asked to leave the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia, and some members were heckled at the restaurant across the street after the Red Hen owner followed them.
This week, the conservative street artist Sabo responded to Waters by hijacking a billboard in West Hollywood, California, advertising the slasher movie “Halloween.” Sabo replaced a photo of killer Michael Myers with one of Waters.
It has the Democratic congresswoman from East Los Angeles now holding the sharp butcher knife in her right hand, with the phrase “#Uncivil Democrats” added.