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Former, Current Republican Lawmakers Respond to the Violence on Capitol Hill

  • Kayla Koslosky Former Editor
  • Updated Jan 08, 2021
Former, Current Republican Lawmakers Respond to the Violence on Capitol Hill

Former and current Republican lawmakers are speaking out following the violent insurgency at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday afternoon.

Everyone from former Republican President George W. Bush to current South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham has condemned the violence and called on the president to urge for peace.

Sitting Vice President Mike Pence took to Twitter to adamantly condemn the violence. In a series of tweets he wrote, “Peaceful protest is the right of every American, but this attack on our Capitol will not be tolerated and those involved will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

He continued, “We condemn the violence that took place here in the strongest possible terms. We grieve the loss of life in these hallowed halls, as well as the injuries suffered by those who defended our Capitol today.”

In an official statement, former President Bush called the display “sickening and heartbreaking.”

He wrote, “Laura and I are watching the scenes of mayhem unfolding at the seat of our Nation’s government in disbelief and dismay. It is a sickening and heartbreaking sight. This is how election results are disputed in a banana republic – not our democratic republic. I am appalled by the reckless behavior of some political leaders since the election and by the lack of respect shown today for our institutions, our traditions, and our law enforcement. The violent assault on the Capitol – and disruption of a Constitutionally-mandated meeting of Congress – was undertaken by people whose passions have been inflamed by falsehoods and false hopes.”

He added, “Insurrection could do grave damage to our Nation and reputation. In the United States of America, it is the fundamental responsibility of every patriotic citizen to support the rule of law. To those who are disappointed in the results of the election: Our country is more important than the politics of the moment. Let the officials elected by the people fulfill their duties and represent our voices in peace and safety.”

“May God continue to bless the United States of America,” he concluded.

Before the House, Republican Representative from California Kevin McCarthy asserted that the display was “the worst of America.”

“The violence, destruction and chaos we saw earlier was unacceptable, undemocratic and unamerican. It was the saddest day I’ve ever had serving as a member of this institution,” he asserted.

“The Capitol was in chaos, police officers were attacked, guns were drawn on this very floor, a woman tragically lost her life. No one wins when this building and what it stands for is destroyed. America and this institution, he asserted “is better than this.”

McCarthy went on to encourage Americans to remember that “we can disagree with one another but not dislike each other. We can respect the voices of others.”

Echoing similar sentiments, Texas Senator Ted Cruz wrote in a Tweet, “Violence is always unacceptable. Even when passions run high. Anyone engaged in violence—especially against law enforcement—should be fully prosecuted. God bless the Capitol Police and the honorable men & women of law enforcement who show great courage keeping all of us safe.”

In a follow-up tweet, Cruz asserted that violence is never justified. He wrote, “The Constitution protects peaceful protest, but violence—from Left or Right— is ALWAYS wrong. And those engaged in violence are hurting the cause they say they support.”

GOP Senator from Nebraska Ben Sasse took a strong stance on the attacks, accusing the President of “constantly stoking division.”

He wrote in an official statement, “ Today, the United States Capitol – the world’s greatest symbol of self-government – was ransacked while the leader of the free world cowered behind his keyboard – tweeting against his Vice President for fulfilling the duties of his oath to the Constitution.”

“Lies have consequences,” he continued. “This violence was the inevitable and ugly outcome of the President’s addiction to constantly stoking division.”

“Americans,” he asserted, “are better than this: Americans aren’t nihilists. Americans aren’t arsonists. Americas aren’t French revolutionaries taking to the barricades.”

“This is not how we peacefully transfer power. The American people are tough, our Constitutional order is strong, and we will meet this moment with strength and grace,” Sasse concluded.

Lindsey Graham called for the establishment of a federal task force “to identify those who breached the Capitol [and] vandalized our national institutions.” He further called for those involved to be prosecuted to the “fullest extent of the law.”

After Congress reconvened, Graham urged his fellow congress members not to delay the election with further objections to states' election results, calling it “a uniquely bad idea.”

“Trump and I, we’ve had a hell of a journey. I hate it to end this way,” he said. “From my point of view, he’s been a consequential president, but today is the first thing you’ll see.”

“All I can say, is count me out. Enough is enough,” Graham said of the objections. Graham then asserted, “Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are lawfully elected and will become the president and vice President of the United States on January the 20th.”

Republican Senator Josh Hawley, one of the leading voices in the objection of the certification of several states' election results, thanked law enforcement for their diligence as he, too, called for an end to the violence.

“Thank you to the brave law enforcement officials who have put their lives on the line. The violence must end, those who attacked police and broke the law must be prosecuted, and Congress must get back to work and finish its job,” he wrote in an official statement posted to Twitter by his press office. 

During the assault, Florida Senator Marco Rubio called directly on President Trump to bring an end to the violence. He wrote on Twitter, “Mr. President the men & women of law enforcement are under assault. It is crucial you help restore order by sending resources to assist the police and ask those doing this to stand down.”

He added, “There is nothing patriotic about what is occurring on Capitol Hill. This is 3rd world style anti-American anarchy.”

Then on Thursday, Rubio encouraged the American people to “turn the page” on the election and accept that Joe Biden is officially the President-elect of the United States. He wrote, “The 2020 election process is complete & no matter who we voted for it’s time to turn the page. Joe Biden is now officially the President-Elect of the United States. May God bless & protect our country & our next President.” 

Several other Republican lawmakers, including Senator Mitt Romney from Utah, Senator Mike Braun from Indiana, former GOP Chairman and President Trump’s former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, and Vermont Governor Phil Scott also called for an end to the violence and for the President to take responsibility for his apparent involvement in the attacks.

Scott even went as far as to assert that Trump “should resign or be removed from office by his Cabinet or by the Congress” for seemingly instigating the attack.

Early Thursday morning, Congress officially certified Joe Biden as the President-elect of the United States. Soon after, President Trump released a statement asserting that although he believes the election was stolen from him, he will peacefully transfer power to Biden come January 20th.

Further, while no action has been taken, on Thursday, Representative Ted Lieu released a bipartisan statement calling for Vice President Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and impeach, and potentially remove the president from office.

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Drew Angerer/Staff

Kayla Koslosky is the former Editor of She has B.A. degrees in English and History and previously wrote for and was the managing editor of the Yellow Jacket newspaper. She has also contributed to and