Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) spoke out on Friday to call for a time of “honest reflection” in the conservative moment in the wake the riots that saw supporters of President Donald Trump storm the Capitol on Wednesday.
“For those of us on the center-right of American politics, now is the time that calls for honest reflection,” Rubio said in a video that he posted to social media.
He went on to remind the president’s supporters that while Republicans had won the House, the Senate, and the White House in 2016, they lost all of these majorities in the last election.
“We need to reflect on why this has happened because this country needs a viable, attractive alternative to the agenda of the radical left,” Rubio said, adding that he does not want to see the GOP return to the way it was in 2012, a time when he said it was “out of touch” with the working Americans. He explained that it was these Americans who rejected the establishment and ultimately backed President Trump.
Rubio then touched on the need to improve America’s elections.
“We have to investigate what went wrong in the last election and fix our elections laws, so people can have faith and confidence in them,” he said.
Rubio also stressed the importance of calling out the corporate media bias and the hypocrisy of the left.
“We must continue to call out the media bias instead of being bullied by it,” he said. “And we must oppose political correctness, social media censorship, identity politics, and this cult of wokeness.”
“We can do all these things without indulging the darkest instincts or inciting the most destructive impulses — and without the rhetoric or behavior that keep the millions of Americans who agree with us from joining us in this fight,” he added, appearing to be chastising some of Trump’s behavior.
Though he condemned the Capitol rioters, he also expressed sympathy for the Americans who see the left’s double standards when it comes to these protests.
“Now, are the Left hypocrites? Absolutely,” he said. “I remember, what they now are calling insurrection, they were justifying just this summer. They were called it the ‘language of the unheard’ when rioters were burning cities.”
Rubio specifically called out CNN and MSNBC, bringing up comments that host Chris Cuomo made in June, when he said, “Show me where it says protests are supposed to be polite and peaceful.”
“This kind of blatant bias and double standard is one of the reasons that so many Americans have sought political shelter in divisive political movements and in conspiracy theories that offer the promise of fighting back against it,” the Florida Republican said
Rubio concluded by urging Trump supporters to not let their anger make them violent.
“Here is what I want you to hear right now: We can’t allow our anger about all that stuff to turn ourselves into them,” he said.
The video ended with Rubio quoting former President Richard Nixon.
“He said, ‘Others may hate you, but those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself,’” Rubio said. “We can’t destroy ourselves.”