‘I don’t care if you think I’m Satan reincarnated’ Biden calls for politicians to unite over House select committee to deal with Jan. 6 riots telling Ohio town hall ‘it wasn’t a peaceful march’
- President urges Democrats and Republicans to work together on riot investigation committee amid partisan bickering
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejects two GOP hopefuls from a panel to probe the US Capitol riot due to their close ties to former President Donald Trump
- House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy responds by pulling all five Republican members, calling the investigation a ‘sham’
- Biden says nation needs to unite to prove democracy can work in the 21st Century
President Joe Biden urged Democrats and Republicans to unite on the House select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill riot during a town hall event Wednesday night in Cincinnati, Ohio.
‘I don’t care if you think I’m Satan reincarnated,’ Biden said during the event televised on CNN. ‘The fact is you can’t look at that television and say nothing happened on the 6th. You can’t listen to people who say this was a peaceful march.’
His comments came after Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected two Republicans selected by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to serve on the committee because of their ties to former President Donald Trump.
In response, McCarthy pulled all five Republican members from the committee, calling the investigation a ‘sham.’
Biden addressed the need for Democrats and Republicans to work together and investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill riots during a town hall event Wednesday in Cincinnati, Ohio
CNN’s Don Lemon, right, asked how can the parties unite amid constant clashes and the rise of partisanship
During the Jan. 6 riot at the US Capitol, participants clashed with police
An Associated Press photographer is shown being assaulted by rioters at the Capitol
‘If Republicans and Democrats can’t come together to investigate the biggest attack on our Capitol in 200 years, what makes you think that they can come together on anything?’ asked CNN’s Don Lemon.
Biden answered that the parties needed to come together as a show that democracy can triumph in the 21st century.
The president said that during meetings with world leaders this year, many expressed their concerns that America is too divided to be effective.
He added that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping had told him that autocracies, not democracies, were the way of the future.
It was not made clear when the world leaders spoke to Biden about this.
‘They really believe that,’ Biden said. ‘They believe that things are moving so rapidly, that you can’t put together a nation that is divided to get a consensus on acting quickly. Democracy has to stand up and get something done.’
Biden’s visit is a reminder of how the president believes he can avoid the country’s divides by connecting directly with voters in Republican-leaning states such as Ohio
The Capitol Hill mob tries to force their way into the building on Jan. 6
Also during Wednesday’s town hall, audience members asked about how to protect children from COVID-19 if they are too young for the vaccines and President Biden was tackling vaccine misinformation
The CNN town hall seemed to draw a meagre crowd for Biden, with photos from journalists showing row upon row of empty seats. Trump, who held large rallies through much of the pandemic, frequently taunted Biden for small crowds, which Biden on the campaign trail made a deliberate policy to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
It is unclear if the room was half-full due to concerns about the virus or due to a lack of public interest. A White House official referred an inquiry to CNN.
CNN spokeswoman Lauren Pratapas told The New York Post: ‘This was a typical audience size for a CNN town hall.’
She did not elaborate on the reason for the small crowd size.