Obama calls mob scene a moment of ‘shame’ but not surprise
Former President Obama said history would recall riots by Trump supporters at the U.S. Capitol as “a moment of great dishonor” that was brought on by a sitting president who continued to “lie” about the outcome of the November presidential election.
“History will rightly remember today’s violence at the Capitol, incited by a sitting president who has continued to baselessly lie about the outcome of a lawful election, as a moment of great dishonor and shame for our nation,” said Obama.
“But we’d be kidding ourselves if we treated it as a total surprise,” he said.
Here’s my statement on today’s violence at the Capitol. pic.twitter.com/jLCKo2D1Ya
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) January 7, 2021
Obama blasted the Republican Party and “its accompanying media ecosystem” for refusing to acknowledge “this was not a particularly close election and that President-Elect [Joe] Biden will be inaugurated on January 20.”
“Their fantasy narrative has spiraled further and further from reality, and it builds upon years of sown resentments,” said Obama.
Obama called on Republican lawmakers to “choose reality” and “choose America” or continue “stoking the raging fires.”
The former Democratic president expressed optimism at the number of Republicans who spoke out against Trump on Wednesday.
“Their voices add to the examples of Republican state and local election officials in states like Georgia who’ve refused to be intimidated and have discharged their duties honorably,” said Obama.
“We need more leaders like these — right now and in the days, weeks, and months ahead as President-Elect Biden works to restore a common purpose to our politics. It’s up to all of us as Americans, regardless of party, to support him in that goal.”
Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton also condemned the riots Wednesday.
“I am appalled by the reckless behavior of some of our leaders since the election and by the lack of respect shown today for our institutions, our traditions, and our law enforcement,” said Bush in a statement released Wednesday afternoon.
Clinton wrote on Twitter Wednesday, “The match was lit by Donald Trump and his most ardent enablers, including many in Congress, to overturn the results of an election he lost. The election was free, the count was fair, the result is final. We must complete the peaceful transfer of power our Constitution mandates.”
The match was lit by Donald Trump and his most ardent enablers, including many in Congress, to overturn the results of an election he lost.
The election was free, the count was fair, the result is final. We must complete the peaceful transfer of power our Constitution mandates.
— Bill Clinton (@BillClinton) January 7, 2021
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