Former President George W. Bush condemned the chaos that roiled the Capitol on Wednesday as protesters breached the seat of Congress and broke into lawmakers’ offices.
Recounting how he and former first lady Laura Bush watched “the scenes of mayhem at the seat of our Nation’s government in disbelief and dismay,” Bush said, “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,” Bush continued. “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. 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.”
Statement by President George W. Bush on Insurrection at the Capitol pic.twitter.com/rF77j0fIBK
— George W. Bush Presidential Center (@TheBushCenter) January 6, 2021
Bush has mostly remained publicly apolitical since having left office in 2009, though he very quickly affirmed Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s apparent victory in November. He congratulated the former vice president after the election, as CNN reported, and maintained that the contest was “fundamentally fair” and “its outcome is clear.”
“Though we have political differences, I know Joe Biden to be a good man, who has won his opportunity to lead and unify our country,” Bush said. “The President-elect reiterated that while he ran as a Democrat, he will govern for all Americans. I offered him the same thing I offered Presidents Trump and Obama: my prayers for his success, and my pledge to help in any way I can.”
Trump released a statement on Twitter amid the unrest in the capital, which Twitter later deleted:
I know your pain. I know your hurt. We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election, and everyone knows it, especially the other side. But you have to go home now, we have to have peace. We have to have law and order, we have to respect our great people in law and order. We don’t want anybody hurt. It’s a very tough period of time. There’s never been a time like this where such a thing happened, where they could take it away from all of us — from me, from you, from our country. This was a fraudulent election, but we can’t play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace. So, go home. We love you, you’re very special. You’ve seen what happens. You see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel. But go home, and go home in peace.