Electoral College Protests

Protesters gather outside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington as Congress prepared to affirm President-elect Joe Biden's victory.

(The Center Square) – Florida senior Republican Sen. Marco Rubio denounced protesters who stormed the U.S. Capitol Building on Wednesday to disrupt the procedural confirmation of President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.

“There is nothing patriotic about what is occurring on Capitol Hill,” Rubio tweeted after being evacuated from the U.S. Senate chambers, calling on President Donald Trump to order protesters to “stand down.”

“This is 3rd world style anti-American anarchy,” Rubio tweeted. “Mr. President Donald Trump, the men and women of law enforcement are under assault. It is crucial you help restore order by sending resources to assist the police and ask those doing this to stand down.”

Rubio was among Florida representatives who issued statements while huddling in their offices as protesters objecting to certification of Biden’s victory gained access to the Capitol Building about 2:15 p.m., suspending debate on an objection to Arizona’s Electoral College votes.

“We are locked in the House Chamber. They have suspended debate. We have just been briefed the Capitol has been breached. They are asking us to put on masks for tear gas,” tweeted Republican Rep. Kat Cammack. “Violence has no place in our politics. This needs to stop now!”

“What’s happening now in the U.S. Capitol is sickening and unacceptable,” tweeted Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan. “Guns drawn inside the House chamber and reports of shots fired and one woman in critical condition make this a dark day in the history of our nation.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis also denounced violence.

“Violence or rioting of any kind is unacceptable and the perpetrators must face the full weight of the law,” he said in a statement.

Florida Republican U.S. Reps. Brian Mast, Cammack, Buchanan, Matt Gaetz, Byron Donalds, Scott Franklin, John Rutherford, Mike Waltz, Bill Posey, Dan Webster and Greg Steube are among 140 GOP congressional representatives who said they will object to several states’ Electoral College tallies during the joint congressional session.

By 4 p.m. Wednesday, at least six had issued statements condemning violence by protesters while hunkered in their offices.

“Attacking our Capitol and the selfless law enforcement officers defending it is as unpatriotic and appalling as it gets,” tweeted Mast. “The people who are doing that must stop so we can return to our democratic process!”

“The lawlessness taking place here in our nation’s capital is unacceptable and un-American,” tweeted Rutherford. “You cannot say you stand for law and order and then act this way. Pray for our law enforcement as they secure the area and keep us safe.”

“Americans have the right to peacefully protest & demand their government works for them — that doesn’t mean we resort to violence,” tweeted Donalds. “Rule of law must stand during our nation’s brightest & darkest hours & that includes right now. We are better than this. There is no place for anarchy.”

The two Florida GOP congressmen who had not pledged to object to Biden’s election, Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart and Carlos Gimenez, also quickly denounced the violence.

“This lawlessness is abhorrent and disgusting. This is not who we are as a nation and does not represent our values,” Gimenez tweeted. “All engaging in violence must be apprehended and punished. I pray for the safety of our Capitol Police who are working tirelessly to ensure everyone is kept safe.”

Florida’s 12 Democratic representatives were among those blaming Republicans for allowing Trump to stoke tensions without repudiation, leading to inevitable violence.

“A mob storming the U.S. Capitol to overturn an election. A coup in progress. A dark day for America,” tweeted U.S. Rep Val Demings. “But this is what they always wanted. Don’t let them deny it. They will lose. We will not be intimidated. Democracy will win.”