Romney calls the riot at the U.S. Capitol an 'insurrection'

On the Senate floor Wednesday night, Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said the violence at the Capitol was “heartbreaking” and called on his colleagues to complete the electoral vote count.

Video Transcript

MITT ROMNEY: Mr President, today was heartbreaking, and I was shaken to the core as I thought about the people I met in China, and Russia, and Afghanistan, and Iraq. And other places who yearn for freedom, and who looked at this building, and these shores, as a place of hope. And I saw the images being broadcast around the world, and it breaks my heart.

I have 25 grandchildren. Many of them were watching TV, thinking about this building, whether their grandpa was OK. I knew I was OK. I must tell you as well, I was proud to serve with these men and women. This is an extraordinary group of people. I'm proud to be a member of the United States Senate and meet with people of integrity, as we do here today.

Now we gather due to a selfish man's injured pride, and the outrage of supporters who he has deliberately misinformed for the past two months and stirred to action this very morning. What happened here today was an insurrection incited by the President of the United States. Those who choose to continue to support his dangerous gambit by objecting to the results of a legitimate Democratic election will forever be seen as being complicit in an unprecedented attack against our democracy. Fairly or not, they'll be remembered for their role in this shameful episode in American history that will be their legacy.

I salute Senator Lankford, and Loeffler, and Braun, and Danes, and I'm sure others who, in the light of today's outrage, have withdrawn their objection. For any who remain insistent on an audit in order to satisfy the many people who believe that the election was stolen, I'd offer this perspective. No congressional audit is ever going to convince these voters, particularly when the president will continue to say that the election was stolen. The best way we can show respect for the voters who were upset is by telling them the truth.

[APPLAUSE]

That's the burden, that's the duty of leadership. The truth is that President-elect Biden won the election, President Trump lost. I've had that experience myself, it's no fun. Scores of courts, the president's own attorney general, state election officials both Republican and Democrat, have reached that unequivocal decision. And in light of today's sad circumstances, I asked my colleague, do we weigh our own political fortunes more heavily than we weigh the strength of our Republic, the strength of our democracy, and the cause of freedom? What's the weight of personal acclaim compared to the weight of conscience?

Leader McConnell said that the vote today is the most important in his 36 years of public service. Think of that. Authorizing two wars, voting in two impeachments. He said that not because the vote reveals something about the election, it's because this vote reveals something about us.

I urge my colleagues to move forward with completing the electoral count, to refrain from further objections, and to unanimously affirm the legitimacy of the presidential election. Thank you, Mr President.