SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Jan. 6, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — Utah leaders and officials are issuing statements Thursday on the anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.
A joint statement from Utah Gov. Spencer Cox and Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson reads: “A year ago was a difficult day for our country as we were shocked by the attack on the U.S. Capitol but inspired by the resiliency of our government and its institutions. May we continue the hard work of strengthening our constitutional republic.”
A statement from Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, reads: “Today, we call to mind the memory of those who were tragically lost on the 6th and in the following days, and we reflect with gratitude on the heroic efforts of those who protected the U.S. Capitol and all of us inside the building. It is because of their courage that Congress ultimately fulfilled its responsibility to count the votes and that the transfer of power continued unimpeded.
“We ignore the lessons of January 6 at our own peril. Democracy is fragile; it cannot survive without leaders of integrity and character who care more about the strength of our Republic than about winning the next election. I said last year that the best way we can show respect for voters who are upset is by telling them the truth. The responsibility that elected officials have in this regard is fundamental to reversing the malaise gripping our current politics and ensuring that our democracy endures.”
A tweet from Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, reads: “After a year of reflection, two thoughts are clear to me: We need to fully understand the events of that day, so this doesn’t happen again. Our nation needs to tone down the rhetoric and start treating each other like human beings instead of adversaries.”
U.S. Sen. Mike Lee, Congressman Chris Stewart, Congressman Blake Moore and Congressman Burgess Owens did not offer comment.
President Joe Biden addressed the nation Thursday morning. Biden gave his remarks at the National Statuary Hall at the Capitol, the building that was overrun by extremist Trump supporters in an effort to disrupt the Electoral College vote confirming Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election.
Without mention his name, Biden denounced Trump for sowing a “web of lies” about voter fraud and a “stolen” election and for undermining democracy in the United States because he couldn’t come to terms with the fact that he’d lost.
“I will stand in the breach. I will defend this nation, and I will allow no one to place a dagger at the throat of democracy,” Biden said. “[Trump is] not just a former president, he’s a defeated former president.”
“It was an armed insurrection,” he added. “They were not trying to uphold the will of the people. They were looking to deny the will of the people. They were not looking to uphold a free and fair election, they were looking to overturn one.”
Biden added: “[Trump] has done so because he values power over principle. Because his bruised ego matters more to him than democracy or the Constitution. He can’t accept that he lost, even though that’s what 93 United States senators, his own attorney general, his own vice president, governors and state officials in every battleground state have all said. He lost.”
The president also had words for the rioters who ransacked the Capitol, saying they were not “patriots” and were not trying to save democracy.
“You can’t love your country only when you win,” he said. “You can’t obey the law only when it’s convenient. You can’t be patriotic when you embrace and enable lies. Those who stormed this Capitol, those in instigated and incited it and those who called on them to do so, held a dagger at the throat of America.”
The president was emphatic against the notion that the United States is a country that accepts “political violence as a norm.”
“And so at this moment we must decide what kind of nation we are going to be,” he said. “Are we going to be a nation where we allow partisan election officials to overturn the legally expressed will of the people?
“Are we going to be a nation that lives not by the light of the truth but in the shadow of lies? We cannot allow ourselves to be that kind of nation. The way forward is to recognize the truth and to live by it.”
For Biden’s full speech, see below.