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Karl Rove: Republicans should not allow ‘soft-pedaling’ of Jan. 6

Longtime Republican strategist Karl Rove called on members of the GOP to more forcefully condemn the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of former President Trump’s supporters.   

“To move beyond Jan. 6, 2021, we must put country ahead of party,” Rove wrote in an op-ed published in The Wall Street Journal on the one-year anniversary of the event. “For Democrats, that means resisting their leadership’s petty habit of aggravating partisan fault lines by indiscriminately condemning all who came to Washington that day.” 

Many Republicans in Congress have downplayed the significance of the attack, while others have condemned the violence carried out by the rioters. Few have blamed Trump directly for inciting the mob. 

In a speech from the Capitol on Thursday, President Biden blamed Trump and the unsubstantiated claims he has spread about the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election for the violent attack at the Capitol without mentioning the former president by name. 

“The former president of the United States of America has created and spread a web of lies about the 2020 election. He has done so because he values power over principle, because he sees his own interest as more important than his country’s interest, America’s interest, and because his bruised ego means more to him than our democracy and our Constitution,” Biden said. “He can’t accept he lost.”

Rove, a former chief political mind in the George W. Bush administration, said he still believes in the values Republicans have long represented. 

But when it comes to the Jan. 6 attack, “there can be no soft-pedaling what happened and no absolution for those who planned, encouraged and aided the attempt to overthrow our democracy,” Rove wrote. 

“Love of country demands nothing less,” he concluded. “That’s true patriotism.” 

Tags Donald Trump Joe Biden Joe Biden Karl Rove Karl Rove United States Capitol attack

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