Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined The Story with Martha MacCallum to discuss yesterday’s events at the U.S. Capitol and America’s path forward. See below for highlights and watch the interview here.
On concerns surrounding the legitimacy of the election and yesterday’s attack on the Capitol:
“First and foremost, there is no doubt that in this election there were things that happened that we need to talk about as a country and deal with. This practice of states going to courts and friendly judges, and changing the laws so that they can get an advantage for Democrats, and circumventing the legislature — all that needs to be addressed. And if there was fraud, that’s a crime. People should be put in jail and it should be revealed.
“I would point out it’s hard to make a case for fraud or to be arguing out there for it, when none of the President’s lawsuits and none of his lawyers ever alleged fraud. ... But the real crux of this is the changes in the laws, absolutely.
“Was yesterday an opportunity to discuss the need for those changes? It could’ve been. Until thousands of people rushed into the Capitol. Five people are now dead. We just got word moments ago that a Capitol police officer is among those who have died as a result of what happened yesterday. So we have five people that are dead. So it’s a little tough to have that kind of historic opportunity when members of Congress who are supposed to be having that debate are hiding in a bunker or a basement somewhere while people are rummaging through the building and creating loss of life.
“As far as what you said, all of those complaints about the elections are absolutely legitimate. And millions of Americans have [them], millions of Americans have [them]. And 99% of the people who went yesterday to Washington, D.C. to protest, to have their voices heard, did not barge into the Capitol. But, one percent of thousands of people is a lot of people. And it can cause a lot of havoc and a lot of damage, and it can embarrass the country the way that they did.
“There were people that I know personally, who believed that not only could we have a debate … a lot of people did not come just because they thought they could make a point and send a message. They believed that the outcome was going to change. They believed the Vice President was going to discard votes. They believed that somehow we were going to get Nancy Pelosi’s Democratic House to vote for one of these challenges.
“None of that was ever going to happen. And you know who admits it? The people who filed the challenges. …
“But people were led to believe these challenges would prevail. And when it didn’t happen, a small group of people — but nonetheless a significant group of people — created a tremendous amount of damage. Some of them are adherents of a conspiracy theory, others got caught up in the moment, and the result was a national embarrassment.
“The Chinese are laughing at us. Laughing.”
On the national security threats posed by the attack on the Capitol:
“If you’re a terrorist right now you’re sitting out there watching this, you’re saying to yourself, ‘hey, it’s not that hard to get into the Capitol. Maybe it’s not hard to get into the White House or the Supreme Court building or somewhere else.’ ...
“We’ve known — we saw it this summer, we see it now — that this sort of thing creates more of it ...
“The Iranians are looking at us now and saying, ‘the Great Satan — which is what they call us — they’re in decline.’ Vladimir Putin’s looking at this and saying ‘America’s in total chaos.’ The Chinese are laughing at us and saying ‘this is why democracy doesn’t work and you need a strong and firm figure.’ And they think that we’re weak and in decline.
“And our enemies, if you’re a terrorist or anybody else, you think Americans are distracted, they’re tied up in all this, now’s our time to do things. They’d make a mistake, but they could think that. These are real things that we need to be serious about, and I think the one that I go back to is that this embarrassed our country.”
On President-elect Joe Biden’s speech:
“I saw Joe Biden’s speech today. It was an opportunity for him — the day after all of that — to calm things down, and instead he goes off for 20 minutes and talks about everything that happened last summer … There was no need for that. You know what that does? It makes everyone go back to their corner.
“Everybody is outraged by what happened yesterday. A lot of people are thinking to themselves that maybe politics has gotten too hot right now. And then [Biden] comes out with a speech like that, and I don’t think it did any good for anybody.
“I am really disappointed in Biden’s speech today. I expected more and better.”