‘The Cruelty Is A Feature’: Jake Tapper Blasts Republicans Using ‘Rust’ Tragedy To Attack Alec Baldwin

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CNN anchor Jake Tapper devoted a portion of his “State of the Union” broadcast Sunday to blast Republicans for mocking actor Alec Baldwin in the wake of the shooting that left cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, dead.

Tapper went on to lament how politics is “driving people away from our shared humanity” after calling the incident “heartbreaking for normal people.”  (RELATED: My Heart Is Broken’: Alec Baldwin Speaks Out After Killing Woman With Prop Gun On Set)


Tapper specifically called out Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado and Republican  Ohio Senate candidate J.D. Vance for their response in the wake of the shooting.

“Republican Congresswoman Lauren Boebert of Colorado apparently spent some time and did some digging and found a Baldwin tweet from 2014 about the ‘Hands Up, Don’t Shoot’ movement,” Tapper stated. “Baldwin is not only a progressive, but very aggressive and outspoken about liberal issues, including gun control,” he added.

Tapper’s greatest criticism, however, was reserved for Vance. Calling the Ohio Senate race the “fear factor of American politics,” Tapper accused the candidates in that race of positioning “themselves against one another as to who can performatively appeal best to the lowest common denominator.”

Vance’s tweet appealed for Twitter founder, Jake Dorsey, to reinstate former President Donald Trump’s account in the wake of the shooting. That response was evidence, according to Tapper, of Vance exploiting the tragedy for his own political gain.

“In other words, the cruelty is a feature of his candidacy, not a bug,” Tapper said.

While Tapper lamented the “cruelty” of some GOP leaders in the wake of this tragedy, others said that Baldwin has been less than empathetic in the wake of similar tragedies.

Baldwin responded to a Huntington Beach police shooting on Sept. 23, 2017, by tweeting, “I wonder what it must feel like to wrongfully kill someone.”  That shooting was later deemed justified by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

I’m not a Cheney fan, to put it mildly, and this is the way Baldwin believed shootings should be described and discussed.

— Cernovich (@Cernovich) October 22, 2021

In 2006, the then-Vice President, Dick Cheney, accidentally shot and injured lawyer Harry Whittington while quail hunting. Baldwin tweeted in 2015,  “You hook your friends with that line? Shoot em in the face? Cheney style?”