Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., drew attention for saying Saturday night that if a Minnesota jury does not convict Derek Chauvin of murder for the death of George Floyd, protesters should “get more confrontational,” but this call to action was par for the course for the California Democrat.
Waters has a history of in-your-face remarks and impassioned statements that has included barbs at her own colleages.
“You need to respect the chair and shut your mouth!” Waters yelled at Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, just this past Thursday, when Jordan went over his alotted time during a heated exchange with Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Some of Waters’ most notorious remarks, however, came during former President Donald Trump’s administration, particularly when Attorney General Jeff Sessions enforced a zero tolerance policy on illegal border crossing and large numbers of migrant children were being detained and separated from their families.
“Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up. And 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,” Waters told supporters at a rally in June 2018. “And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere. We’ve got to get the children connected to their parents.”
Waters doubled down on that rhetoric in subsequent appearance on MSNBC.
“They’re not going to be able to go to a restaurant, they’re not going to be able to stop at a gas station, they’re not going to be able to shop at a department store, the people are going to turn on them, they’re going to protest, they’re going to absolutely harass them until they decide that they’re going to tell the president, ‘No, I can’t hang with you.'”
The congresswoman has had no shortage of words for the Trump administration. Back in February 2017, she called the Trump administration “a bunch of scumbags … who are all organized around making money.”
Waters was expressing her displeasure for Trump himself before he even took office. In yet another MSNBC appearance in January 2017, she said that that in light of Trump’s past behavior and remarks, she had no intention of attending his inauguration.
“I don’t honor him. I don’t respect him, and I don’t want to be involved with him,” she said.
The congresswoman has never been afraid to speak her mind, nor has she been afraid of the ensuing backlash. In 2018 she addressed the controversy over her calls for people to “push back” on Trump administration officials.
“And I know that there are those who are talking about censuring me, talking about kicking me out of Congress, talking about shooting me, talking about hanging me,” Waters said. “All I have to say is this: If you shoot me, you better shoot straight. There’s nothing like a wounded animal.”