Condoleezza Rice says Jan. 6 riot was ‘wrong’ and yet lawmakers should ‘move on’ as Americans are more concerned about ‘their kitchen-table issues’

Condoleezza Rice
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
  • Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says lawmakers should “move on” from the legislative focus on the Capitol riot.
  • “Yes, it’s time to move on a lot of ways,” Rice said on Wednesday while cohosting “The View.”
  • The former secretary of state contended that law enforcement “will determine what happened.”

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Wednesday expressed her dismay at seeing the violent insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6, calling the attack “wrong” and revealing that she wept that day.

“I thought: ‘I study countries that do this. I didn’t think it would happen in my own country,'” she said while serving as a guest cohost on ABC’s “The View.”

Rice, who teaches at Stanford University, called the attempt to pummel democratic institutions by blocking the Electoral College certification of now-President Joe Biden’s victory over then-President Donald Trump as “wrong,” but also emphasized that lawmakers needed to “move on” to more pressing issues that Americans are facing.

“I want to be very clear. I said January 6 was wrong. I called it an assault on law and order and an assault on democratic processes. So full stop. It was wrong,” she said. “Law enforcement will determine what happened there and those who violated the law ought to be punished.”

“For the first time since I was the national security advisor on September 11 [2001] – I cried that day,” she added.

Over the course of the year, over 600 individuals have been charged by the federal government in connection with the riot. The January 6 select House committee is currently examining whether unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud, which continue to be perpetuated by Trump, led to the attack.

During the show, Rice was asked about Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s opinion that lawmakers should “be talking about the future and not the past,” with the foreign policy expert agreeing with the Kentucky Republican.

“I think what Senator McConnell might be referencing is, ‘Yes, it’s time to move on a lot of ways,'” she told the panel. “I’m one who believes that the American people are now concerned about their kitchen-table issues – the price of gasoline, inflation, what’s happening to kids in school.”

Sunny Hostin, a former federal prosecutor and cohost on “The View,” chimed in, articulating what could occur if there isn’t a sufficient investigation.

“I think it’s really politically expedient for Mitch McConnell to say ‘Let’s move on,'” Hostin said. “But the problem is that past will become prologue if we don’t find out exactly what happened on January 6.”

Rice – who served as national security advisor from 2001 to 2005 and Secretary of State from 2005 until 2009, becoming one of the country’s most prominent Black Republicans – was confident that government officials would “find out” more pertinent information about the riot.

But she reiterated that Americans had other priorities as well.

“I live in California, not Washington, DC. The American people do have other concerns that we ought to be thinking about,” she said. “As I said, I thought that this would happen in countries that I studied, not countries that I lived in. Our institutions have to be upheld.”

“I also know that as a government and as a country, we’ve got to be concerned about the things that are making life hard for Americans and hard for American families,” she added.

When Rice was asked if she’d return to the nation’s capital for another role, she dismissed the thought, saying it was time for new leaders to emerge.

“I have no desire to go back to Washington, DC. Absolutely zero,” she said.

“I want to see the next generation of leadership step up. I want those of us who have been there, done that to step back. I want to move on to a better America,” Rice added.