Vice President Kamala Harris marked the first anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot by comparing it to the Pearl Harbor bombing and 9/11 terrorist attack, an analogy critics blasted as wildly overblown and historically inaccurate.
“Certain dates echo throughout history, including dates that instantly remind all who have lived through them where they were and what they were doing when our democracy came under assault,” said Ms. Harris in Thursday remarks at the Capitol’s Statuary Hall.
“Dates that occupy not only a place on our calendars, but a place in our collective memory: December 7, 1941; September 11, 2001, and January 6, 2021,” she said.
The comparison drew immediate pushback from critics on the right who said the events were hardly commensurate. One protester died as a direct result of the Jan. 6 riot, while 2,403 were killed in the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor and 2,996 died in the 9/11 attacks.
Rep. Andy Biggs, Arizona Republican, tweeted: “Kamala compared Jan6 to the attack on Pearl Harbor and the Twin Towers. Fear-baiting and truth-twisting at its finest.”
Others on social media slammed Ms. Harris’s linkage as “insulting,” “insane,” and “one of the dumbest historical analogies I have ever seen.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended the vice president’s comments after being questioned about them at Thursday’s press briefing, suggesting the comparison was not out of line.
“If we look back to some very difficult moments in our history, back in 1861 there were no Confederate flags being raised and waved in the Capitol,” said Ms. Psaki. “In very dark moments in our history, there were not people storming our nation’s Capitol trying to take over the office and even threatening the Speaker of the House.”
Ms. Psaki said that instead of criticizing the vice president’s remarks, “I would suggest that they be a part of solving the threat to democracy that occurs today and is happening today. And they’re using this as an excuse not to be part of that.”