During a new interview with Greta Van Susteren, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) placed blame on Democrats, social media users, and those who call themselves the “resistance” for the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
When McCarthy was asked why he was changing his tune after initially placing some blame on Trump for inciting the insurrection, the House Republican danced around the question.
“No, I have not changed in that,” Rep. McCarthy said before shifting to defending the ex-president. “If you listen to what the president said at the rally, he said, ‘demonstrate peacefully.'”
(Fact check: On Jan. 6, Trump told his supporters to march down to the Capitol and “show strength” because “you’ll never take back our country with weakness.” Trump was not calling for peaceful action.)
Rep. McCarthy then shifted to blaming Democrats, including Rep. Maxine Waters, and protesters who turned out in huge numbers after Trump was inaugurated in 2017.
“Think about four years ago after President Trump was sworn in,” he said. “What happened in the very next day? The title was ‘resist’ with people walking in the streets.”
What McCarthy failed to mention is that those “resisters” didn’t storm the Capitol and violently try to overthrow the government just because Trump won the election.
Instead, they marched peacefully in the streets, a right guaranteed to them by the Constitution that McCarthy and many in the GOP have spent the past four years trampling on.
McCarthy’s full response:
No, I have not changed in that. I notice where people write about that. No, what I said, I thought the president had some responsibility when it came to the response. If you listen to what the president said at the rally, he said, “demonstrate peacefully.” And then I got a question later about whether he did incite them. I also think everybody across this country has some responsibility. Think about four years ago after President Trump was sworn in. What happened in the very next day? The title was resist with people walking in the streets, Maxine Waters saying to confront people, confront them in the restaurants. … Steve Scalia got shot. What do we write on our social media? What do we say to one another? How do we disagree and still not be disagreeable even when it comes to opinion? So I think there’s from a whole nation, we should take this moment in time to find out how we can correct ourselves. But President Trump said “peacefully.“ What I said on the floor was that President Trump could have responded faster when the riots first started. I thought his video, the second video, was a very good video. I wish that was the first one
Trump left behind a broken Republican Party
Donald Trump may be gone from the White House, but he left behind a Republican Party that is broken beyond repair.
The fact that so many Republicans refuse to wholeheartedly condemn Trump’s incitement of a violent insurrection at the Capitol shows how far the party has fallen.
Donald Trump spent four years turning the GOP into nothing more than a personality cult. It no longer stands for anything but Trumpism, a political infection that nearly toppled democracy on Jan. 6.
The inability of folks like Kevin McCarthy to acknowledge that reality is just further evidence that the Republican Party is beyond saving. It must be demolished and rebuilt from scratch.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.