“I think Republican leaders ought to stand up and say it is totally unacceptable what she has said,” the Ohio senator told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union.” “I saw a couple videos over the weekend and one had to do with violence as I see it. There is no place for violence in our political dialogue. By the way there is no place for violence in our country. I mean, this is something we got to get away from. So yeah. I think people ought to speak out clearly.”
Asked if Greene, who has been appointed to the House Education and Labor Committee, should she be stripped of her committee assignments, Portman said the move could “send a message.”
“I assume that is something they’re looking at and I wouldn’t be surprised if that happens. And you know, I think that is the way to send a message,” he said. “The voters who elected her in her district in Georgia, you know, ought to be respected. On the other hand when that kind of behavior occurs there has to be a strong response.”
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, on Sunday told Bash that he rejects “calls for violence and conspiracy,” nodding to Greene’s comments but not directly mentioning her name.
“I’ve seen the reporting that you’re referring to and if it’s accurate, what’s happening is absolutely unacceptable and (House Minority) Leader (Kevin) McCarthy will deal with it,” he said in a separate interview on “State of the Union.” “But I don’t think it’s just on our side, there have been extremes on both sides that have muddied the waters in terms of as to what’s happening right now.”
GOP Sen. Mitt Romney, a frequent Trump critic, reacted to Greene’s announcement of her call with the former President in a tweet of his own, saying: “Lies of a feather flock together: Marjorie Taylor Greene’s nonsense and the ‘big lie’ of a stolen election.”
CNN previously reported that McCarthy plans to speak with Greene next week about her past comments and posts.
“Well, she is a friend. I’m biased. I think she is very smart and she plays a key role in our party particularly on Foreign Affairs so I would hope that they would not go down that road. I think it’s important to have her voice in the process and my sense is she has a lot of support in the Republican Conference,” Portman said.
“I’m in the Senate not the House and House members, as I used to be, hate to have senators tell them what to do. The truth is I think she is very valuable for the team and a great leader.”
CNN’s Veronica Stracqualursi and Jamie Gangel contributed to this report.