Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) slammed former President Trump on Sunday, saying he failed to stop the rioting on Jan. 6, 2021, and end the violence at the U.S. Capitol.
“The president had the opportunity for over three hours to speak up, and I think it was negligence. He should have done better,” Bacon, a former wing commander in the Air Force, told host Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“The American people are going to have to judge this for themselves, whether it’s charging someone for a crime or not,” he added. “But we have to judge it from a political standpoint, and I think the American people by and large know it was wrong not to intervene and say something.”
Bacon voiced criticism of Trump before for the Jan. 6 rioting, when a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol to overturn certification of the 2020 election, and joined calls for a bipartisan committee to investigate the attempted insurrection.
The House panel held its first hearing on the rioting last week and plans to present six more throughout June. The committee says it will paint a comprehensive picture of Trump’s efforts to overturn certification of the 2020 election and place him in the center of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
The panel last Thursday noted Trump did not call off the rioters for more than three hours and presented evidence that although his election fraud allegations were baseless, he continued to push to change the results.
Bacon said on Sunday that Trump’s rhetoric and temperament disillusioned Americans and were a primary factor for the former president’s loss in the 2020 election.
Bacon also said he will not vote for Trump in a primary election if he were to run for president in 2024, and neither should other Republicans.
“We need someone who has conservative policies, but I think we have to acknowledge the American people don’t like name-calling, they don’t like the rude behavior,” Bacon said. “They like folks who treat people respectfully, and I think that’s what cost President Trump in 2020.”
“We should take that as a lesson,” Bacon added. “Conservative values with optimism, respectable behaviors like [former President] Reagan. I think that’s what we should be embracing.”