Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday called on members of Congress to “elevate” the national conversation, saying political rhetoric has “gotten way, way, overheated.”

The Kentucky Republican said lawmakers could learn something from the approach of late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who said, “I don’t attack people, I attack ideas.”

“I think that is a good lesson for all of us,” Mr. McConnell told reporters at the Capitol. “From the president to the speaker to the freshman members of the House, all of us have a responsibility to elevate the discourse. Our words do matter.”

“We all know that politics is a contact sport, but it is about time we lowered the temperature all across the board,” he said. “All of us ought to contribute to a better level of discourse.”

Mr. McConnell’s comments were his first since President Trump’s infamous “go back” comment ignited a political firestorm in Washington.

The senator said both parties are to blame.

“We have heard facilities on the U.S. border called concentration camps, we have seen the far-left throw accusations of racism at everyone — anyone who disagrees with them on anything, including the speaker of the House,” he said. “We’ve seen a freshman Democratic congresswoman use anti-Semitic tropes and imply people only support Israel because of campaign contributions.”

“The most vile accusations and insults against our nation have become incredibly routine,” Mr. McConnell said.

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