Mary Rose Corkery on January 21, 2021
Will Wilkinson, vice president for research at the Niskanen Center and a New York Times contributing opinion writer said Thursday that President Joe Biden would lynch former Vice President Mike Pence if he desires unity.
“‘Aha! Biden proposes policies I dislike. HIS CALL FOR UNITY IS A LIE!!!’ is all the forlorn conservative mind can seem to muster. Sad,” Wilkinson tweeted, according to a screenshot.
“If Biden really wanted unity, he’d lynch Mike Pence,” Wilkinson tweeted, according to the screenshot.
The tweet, posted at 12:33 a.m. Thursday, has since been deleted.
“The Pence tweet was a tart way to drive home the exasperating irony and bad faith of right-wing pundits who have accused Biden of insincerity in his heartfelt calls for unification,” Wilkinson told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“[T]heir own divisive rhetoric and willingness to spread disinformation about the election contributed to hundreds of Republicans storming the Capitol, erecting a noose, and calling for Mike Pence to be hanged.”
Wilkinson said that his agreement with Biden “that it is crucial for Americans to come together” is, in part, why he deleted the tweet.
Last night I made an error of judgment and tweeted this. It was sharp sarcasm, but looked like a call for violence. That’s always wrong, even as a joke. It was especially wrong at a moment when unity and peace are so critical. I’m deeply sorry and vow not to repeat the mistake. pic.twitter.com/cxL4Mo70c5
— Will Wilkinson 🌐 (@willwilkinson) January 21, 2021
Twitter told the DCNF it is looking into the tweet.
“For those who did not support us, let me say this: Hear me out as we move forward. Take a measure of me and my heart,” Biden said.
Biden said disagreement is American and democratic and said “the right to dissent peaceably… is perhaps this nation’s greatest strength” in his inauguration speech.
“Hear me clearly: disagreement must not lead to disunion. And I pledge this to you: I will be a president for all Americans, and I promise you I will fight as hard for those who didn’t support me as those who did,” Biden said.
Twitter purged conservative accounts on a large scale after the Capitol riot in early January and after temporarily suspending former President Donald Trump’s account. The company tweeted on Jan. 6 that three of Trump’s tweets broke their “Civic Integrity’ policy.
The social media company announced it banned Trump’s account after the initial suspension.
The Niskanen Center and The New York Times didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Editor’s Note: This piece has been updated with Wilkinson’s statement.