Political News

GOP pitcher chokes back tears as he reflects on teammates' camaraderie

Posted June 14

A Republican congressman on the party's congressional baseball team fought back tears Wednesday as he reflected on his teammates' camaraderie in the face of horrific violence.

Rep. Pat Meehan, R-Pennsylvania, is a pitcher on the team but was not there Wednesday because he pitched the day before. He said the pitchers typically do their batting practice near the third-base dugout where the shots began but said "miraculously" no one was standing there Wednesday morning.

The shooting injured Majority Whip Steve Scalise along with a lobbyist, a congressional aide and two Capitol Police officers.

Meehan, who told reporters Scalise's security detail consists of two people and they usually sit in the stands on the first base side, said he had never felt unsafe there before.

"It's one of the things that makes you feel more normal. The camaraderie that we have in the mornings," he said, then paused and got choked up, trying hard not to cry.

"It's OK," a reporter told him.

"The camaraderie that we have in the mornings when we are there is such a change from the pressure that we all feel on a regular basis," Meehan said, his voice shaking. "Scalise is the whip, but out there on the field, we treat each other like we're back in high school again."

He got emotional when describing a Democratic member, Rep. Tim Ryan, who came up to him Wednesday morning and gave him a hug.

"It tells you how much we share," he said, fighting back tears. "It's a good thing we don't want to stop."

He ended the gaggle with a parting message.

"We can't let haters win."

GOP Rep. Martha McSally announced later Wednesday that Thursday's congressional baseball game will still go on.

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