JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Florida lawmaker who represents the state’s 11th district is clarifying a tweet posted by his wife, and both have since left Twitter.
The tweet has since been taken down and was in response to the siege of the U.S. Capitol. The post was made by the wife of Rep. Cord Byrd, R-Neptune Beach.
The tweet by his wife, Esther, read: “In the coming civil wars (We the People vs the Radical Left and We the People cleaning up the Republican Party), team rosters are being filled. Every elected official in DC will pick one. There are only 2 teams… With Us [or] Against Us.”
News4Jax asked Byrd specifically about the opening line: “In the coming civil wars.”
“No, and I laugh because you’re in journalism and people use hyperbole all the time,” Byrd replied. “The speaker of the house has said, and I quote, ‘I just don’t know why there aren’t uprisings all over the country.’”
Byrd said his wife’s post speaks to a war of ideas or division within the Republican party, not an actual civil war among citizens.
“Right, and people talk about civil wars in the Republican party,” Byrd replied. “There are factions. People believe different things. It was a figure of speech and that’s how it was intended.”
But the Duval County Democratic Party didn’t see it that way.
“We saw a president that was hyperbolic that same day and caused thousands of people to flood the Capitol -- break-in and put the country in a state it’s never been in and seriously cause questions if our democracy was going to survive,” said Daniel Henry, chair of the Duval Democratic Party. “I think we’ve gone beyond the point of hyperbolic comments. She knows better.”
As of Monday, Byrd and his wife had deactivated their accounts as a form of protest to what they view as censorship on the website. As reported by Florida Politics, Esther Byrd wrote Friday on Facebook that they were leaving the platform:
“We deactivated our Twitter accounts today. I hope every conservative will do the same,” she posted.
Esther Byrd is not totally out of the political spotlight. She recently ran for Neptune Beach City Council.