The longtime US representative from NC spoke to Cardinal & Pine as violent Trump-backing rioters threw the Capitol Building into chaos.
Congressman David Price, a Democrat from Chapel Hill, never anticipated, despite weeks of false assertions by President Trump of a “stolen” election, that Wednesday at the US Capitol would descend into chaos.
“It is a kind of insurrection effort that we just are not familiar with and not prepared for,” Price said in an interview with Cardinal & Pine from his office at the Capitol.
Price, a Duke University professor who has served in Congress since 1997, spoke to Cardinal & Pine Wednesday evening after violent Trump supporters stormed the Capitol Building, killing one person and upending the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s win in November. Price wasn’t on the floor of the US House at the time the Capitol was breached.
Read More: GOP Lawmakers Sought to Overturn Biden’s Election. Now They Condemn Violence at Capitol Building.
Multiple members of NC’s delegation in DC, including Republicans who stated their plans to object to Biden’s election, condemned the violence Wednesday.
One of North Carolina’s 13 House members, he and his staff were told Wednesday afternoon to stay where they were, in an undisclosed building that had not been breached. He remained there into the evening, waiting for an indication of when things were declared safe. Federal lawmakers said they hoped to resume counting the electoral votes Wednesday evening.
Price has been a vocal critic of Trump’s rhetoric and rejection of the election results. Trump’s actions, he said, incited the violence on Wednesday. Price said the president needs to be held accountable.
“He was certainly tempted by the prospect of violence as seen at his own rallies and the way he’s talked for years, and his admiration of autocrats,” Price said. “He clearly was playing with fire here.”
He also pointed to some of his fellow Congressional members, including “too many from North Carolina,” that were planning on contesting the election results.
“You had 100 House members willing to give comfort to this effort to reverse a legitimate election so there needs to be some reckoning, particularly with Republicans,” Price said.
His hope is that a Biden administration will help the nation heal from its division and have some kind of “coming together on the basics of our democracy.”