Reynolds: Time to ‘dial down the rhetoric’ after attack on U.S. Capitol

By: - January 7, 2021 12:35 pm

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds addresses reporters on Thursday via Zoom. (Screen capture of Iowa Capitol Press Association event)

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds on Thursday strongly condemned the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump, calling for people to “dial down the rhetoric.”

“I want to take this opportunity to again just condemn the actions of those who stormed our nation’s Capitol and chose to incite violence yesterday,” Reynolds told reporters in a Zoom meeting called by the Iowa Capitol Press Association to discuss issues to be considered in the coming legislative session. “It’s unacceptable.”

Reynolds said she supports legal action against the rioters, whose break-in and disruption left four dead and temporarily delayed certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral victory.

“They should be prosecuted to the full extent,” Reynolds said of the perpetrators, who carried confederate flags and Trump banners as they broke into the headquarters of U.S. government. 

“That’s not how we resolve our differences in the greatest country on Earth, and it absolutely is not who we are as Americans,” the governor added.

Reynolds, who is a strong supporter of fellow Republican Trump, called for peace. 

“There’s no doubt this has been a difficult year, but we all have a role to play in dialing down the rhetoric to have a constructive conversation on how we can address some of the concerns while we work together to move forward,” Reynolds added. “I believe we need to take this opportunity to unite and to be better.”

A reporter asked if Reynolds regretted her strong support of Trump and her delay in acknowledging Biden’s win. Trump and his supporters have contended the election was marred by fraud, but a series of reviews and court cases have not found evidence of widespread issues.

“What we need to do is stop pointing fingers and we need to move forward and we need to stop the rhetoric and we need to sit at the table and we need to have constructive conversations,” Reynolds said. “Some of that is putting down the phone down and getting off social media and really figuring out how we can come to the table and work together.”

Reynolds said there were indications a peaceful transfer of power is still possible.

“Last night, Congress certified the electoral result,” Reynolds said. “I believe President Trump said this morning there will be a peaceful transition.” 

Reynolds said she would not propose any changes to Iowa’s election laws. In addition to the questions from Trump supporters, several counties corrected errors in the 2nd Congressional District race, which is still under review. 

Nationally, “We can still move forward in a peaceful transition and figure out some way to responsibly take a look a making sure that people feel that the integrity of our election process is intact,” Reynolds said. 

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Perry Beeman
Perry Beeman

Senior reporter Perry Beeman has nearly 40 years of experience in Iowa journalism and has won national awards for environmental and business writing. He has written for The Des Moines Register and the Business Record, where he also served as managing editor. He also is former editorial director of Grinnell College. He co-authored the recently published book, "The $80 Billion Gamble," which details the lottery-rigging case of Eddie Tipton.