A former chief strategist for President George W. Bush believes the riot at the Capitol building on Jan. 6 was worse than the 9/11 terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people.
Matthew Dowd — interviewed by MSNBC’s Joy Reid on Tuesday, which marked six months since the event — charged the a lack of accountability for those who fomented the Capitol riot has given permission to Republicans to perpetuate the “big lie” that President Trump won the 2020 election.
“To me, although there was less loss of life on January 6, January 6 was worse than 9/11 because it’s continued to rip our country apart and give permission for people to pursue autocratic means,” he said.
“So I think we’re in a much worse place than we have been. I think we’re in the most perilous point in time since 1861 in the advent of the Civil War,” Dowd continued.
Unlike after 9/11, he said, there has been no accountability, which has “given permission to just average people out there who might do crazy things, it’s allowed the Republicans just to continue this big lie that they’ve pushed across.”
Dowd said he was thinking about the nation’s current state on Monday when he visited Abraham Lincoln’s birthplace and boyhood home in Kentucky.
“I was reflecting about it because one of the things Lincoln said is, America will never be destroyed from outside. America will destroy itself,” he said.
“I think that’s what I fear about right now. One of the things if you think about this, what would happen if after 9/11 we had done nothing? Think about that if we had done nothing after 9/11.”
See Dowd’s remarks:
— The ReidOut (@thereidout) July 7, 2021
Among the many critics on Twitter of Dowd’s remarks was David Rutz, a senior editor for Fox News.
“On 9/11, 3,000 people who wanted to have a normal Tuesday were killed in the most horrifying fashion imaginable. 3,000 families rocked forever. It launched wars. It remade our national security apparatus. It changed the world,” Rutz wrote.
“Matt Dowd knows this, but he needs to get on TV”.
Dowd responded to the mounting criticism.
He wrote that “for all the Trump cult members who have gone after me for saying below I might remind you that after 9/11 (and Pearl Harbor I might add) we were united as a country to confront a common enemy.”
After Jan. 6, he said, the GOP “did no such thing and leaders have not been held accountable.”