President Joe Biden on Thursday marked the first anniversary of the U.S. Capitol riot by placing the blame on former President Donald Trump.
Biden arrived early at the Capitol saying: “I’m praying that we’ll never have another day like we had a year ago today.”
While he avoided mentioning Trump by name, Biden used the speech as a scathing attack against the former president and his controversial claims regarding the 2020 presidential election.
The president and Democratic Party leaders started the morning in Statuary Hall, one of several spots where rioters swarmed a year ago and interrupted the electoral count.
“And so at this moment we must decide what kind of nation we are going to be,” Biden said early Thursday.
“Are we going to be a nation that accepts political violence as a norm? 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.”
Sponsored: Cholesterol drug linked to memory loss
Critics noted that Biden failed to mention the violent riots that swept through major cities across the United States in the summer of 2020, when federal buildings were attacked nightly and burned by mobs, police officers were gunned down in cold blood by protesters, and one major city center was occupied by violent, armed far-left militias.
Hey Politico: Where’s your data base for what happened to the rioters, arsonists and looters who attacked our cities in the summer of 2000? Where’s your data base for what happened to the occupiers of Portland and Seattle? Where’s your Antifa data base? https://t.co/Tyzt1iOaqI
— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) January 4, 2022
A series of remembrance events during the anniversary of the Capitol riot will be widely attended by Democrats, in person and virtually, but almost every Republican on Capitol Hill will be absent.
The division is a stark reminder of the rupture between the two parties. While congressional Republicans almost universally condemned the riot, they also claim Democrats have overstated the significance of the violent event.
Sponsored: The truth about eggs and senior brains
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and other Republican leaders were absent from the Jan. 6 anniversary, with a contingent of colleagues attending the funeral for former Sen. Johnny Isakson in Georgia.
Biden’s sharp attack and the Republicans’ distance from it come as lawmakers are adjusting to the new normal on Capitol Hill — the growing tensions that many worry will result in greater violence or elections being overturned.
The ASsociated Press contributed to this article