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Video: Walz denounces Minnesota GOP leaders for hedging on vote

Jan 12, 2021 07:04AM ● By Editor

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Photo: KARE 11 

From KARE 11 News - January 11, 2021

Governor Tim Walz denounced Minnesota Republican leaders Monday for refusing to clearly state that the presidential election was free and fair. The typically laid back panel discussion on the legislative session, sponsored by Forum Communications, became tense as Gov. Walz reacted to statements from GOP caucus leaders.

The Democratic governor also disclosed that state troopers had to take his crying 14-year-old son to safety last Wednesday during a protest dubbed “Storm the Capitol” at the state Capitol , which later shifted to the official governor's residence. That rally, which was peaceful, coincided with the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump. And it was marked by some of the same sort of incendiary rhetoric as the insurrection in Washington.

The two top Republicans in the Legislature, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka and House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, both agreed that Joe Biden won the election. And they said they condemn all violence. But they stopped short of declaring that claims that the election was rigged are false.

"It’s my hope that there will be more people listening why people think the election wasn’t fair, why they feel like it was frustrating that the Big Tech companies and some of the media seemed to filter out some of the information," Gazelka told reporters, urging Democrats to try to understand why Trump supporters were so upset.

Walz said he was stunned to hear this rhetoric, this long after Biden was declared the winner and 60 lawsuits alleging fraud were rejected by the courts.

"This denial of the rhetoric that was pushed by the president, continues to be pushed, that there was a fake election to undermine our system, is simply beyond the pale," Walz remarked.

"And all of the talk about finding the common ground; how do we find common ground when we have we have people who will not say the election was fair?"

And the two Republicans drew equivalences between the riot in Washington and the rioting that followed the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last summer.

"I’m amazed that one side can see nothing but flaws in the other one, and see nothing wrong with what happened on their side," Senate Majority Leader Gazelka told reporters.

Rep. Daudt accused Democrats of not going far enough to condemn the riots last summer.

"You can’t have it both ways. If the peaceful protests over the summer were okay, the peaceful protests now are okay. If the violence now is wrong, the violence over the summer is wrong."

Democratic House Speaker Melissa Hortman reminded Daudt that DFL leaders and the governor have roundly condemned the looting and arson that accompanied the protests last summer after Floyd's death. She said that can't be compared to what happened Jan. 6 in the US Capitol

"What we’re talking about is an attack on Democracy. The fundamental tenants of our society are respect for the rule of law, and free and fair elections," Rep. Hortman responded.

"There can be no equivocation that it is at all correct for anybody to turn to violence as a solution to the result of an election they don’t believe in."

Minnesota Capitol rally threats

Hortman said there will be an investigation into several Republican legislators who attended the "Storm the Capitol" rally staged at the Minnesota Capitol the same day the US Capitol was under attack.

Several GOP lawmakers and the emcee of the rally, Alley Waterbury, sharply criticized Ramsey County Judge Sara Grewing for issuing the consent decree that made it easier to vote by absentee ballot by waiving the consent decree, and creating a grace period to count ballots postmarked by Election Day after Election Day.

Waterbury pledged to make Judge Grewing's life harder, and later said, "Governor Walz, we're coming for you!"

She also urged the crowd to keep resisting the mask mandate and other emergency orders by Governor Walz, pledging, "We are going to fight, we are going to go down, there's going to be casualties. I'll be the first casualty, I do not care."

That's why Walz was upset to hear Republicans defend the legislators for taking part in the Minnesota rally.

"I take real umbrage with the idea that what happened here at our Capitol on Wednesday was okay, because the result of that language, of taking the governor and his family prisoner and 'there may be casualties' resulted in the first time in the State Patrol entering the living quarters and removing my 14-year-old son to a safe location."

To see the original report and related stories, follow this link to the KAER 11 News website.