01.06.21

Lankford Condemns Violent, Destructive Protests at Capitol on Senate Floor

Lankford: “We’re the United States of America. We disagree on a lot of things, and we have a lot of spirited debate in this room. But we talk it out, and we honor each other—even in our disagreement.”

CLICK HERE to watch Lankford’s remarks on the Senate floor.

CLICK HERE to download Lankford’s remarks from Box.

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today spoke during debate on certification of the electoral votes to condemn the acts of violence and destruction at the Capitol complex today as a mob of protestors stormed the Capitol building. Lankford also issued a joint statement this evening with Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) on the election certification process and the need for attention to address concerns of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election from Oklahomans and around the nation.

Transcript

The Vice President said things more eloquently than how we say it in Oklahoma. In Oklahoma we’d say something like, ‘Why in God’s name would someone think attacking law enforcement and occupying the United States Capitol is the best way to show you’re right? Why would you do that?’ Rioters and thugs don’t run the Capitol. We’re the United States of America. We disagree on a lot of things, and we have a lot of spirited debate in this room. But we talk it out, and we honor each other—even in our disagreement. That person, that person, that person is not my enemy. That’s my fellow American. And while we disagree on things—and disagree strongly at times—we do not encourage what happened today. Ever.

Now, I want to join my fellow Senators in saying thank you to the Capitol Hill Police, the law enforcement, the National Guard, and the Secret Service, who stood in harm’s way. While we were here debating, they were pushing back. And I was literally interrupted mid-sentence, speaking here because we were all unaware of what was happening right outside this room, because of their faithfulness and because of what they have done. And I want to thank them.

Ronald Reagan once said, “Peace is not the absence of conflict; it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.” Peaceful people in my state in Oklahoma want their questions answered, but they don’t want this, what happened today. They want to do the right thing, and they also want to do it the right way. They want to honor the constitutional process, but they also want to have a debate about election security because they want to make sure it’s right, which is why it’s an important issue that needs to be resolved. Transparency in government just doesn’t seem like a bad idea.

Obviously the commission that we have asked for is not going to happen at this point, and I understand that, and we’re headed towards tonight, towards the certification of Joe Biden to be the President of the United States. And we will work together in this body to be able to set a peaceful example in the days ahead. 

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