Grassley: More civility needed in American discourse

U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley said he doesn’t think the United States can legislate away the kind of actions that prompted someone to mail bombs to politicians and media outlets last month.

But Grassley, who spoke with The Graphic-Advocate and another Iowa newspaper last week by phone, said he sees some other things going on at the national political level that aren’t helping such situations.

“Civility is needed,” Grassley said. “There’s a lot that has deteriorated in our society.”

Public officials need to set a good example, Iowa’s senior senator said.

“I think the president could be a little more discreet in the words he uses,” Grassley said. He had criticisms of prominent Democrats, too. “It was wrong for Sen. (Cory) Booker to tell people to get in (opponents’) faces. … Those of us in public life ought to be setting the standard.”

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