Mullins admits that Republicans' opposition of the election results is more based on emotion than fact.
Flagler County Commissioner Joe Mullins was among 170 people who took a bus to Washington, D.C., for the Jan. 6 protests that led to a breach of The Capitol as Republicans in Congress debated whether to accept the results of the 2020 presidential election.
“It’s just chaos,” Mullins said from D.C. in a phone interview at about 4 p.m. Jan. 6. “It started out real peaceful, like a typical Trump rally. … When Pence did what he did, the crowd went berserk. People started storming The Capitol. When we started hearing shots fired, we got up and left.”
Mullins was referring to Vice President Mike Pence, who announced that he would disobey President Donald Trump’s direction that he step in and stop Congress from certifying the election, which was won by Democrat Joe Biden.
Mullins admitted that the protests were based more on emotion than fact, and that he is personally more motivated by preserving Republican power and the party’s principles than he is motivated by a belief that the election was literally stolen.
“After what I saw today, I feel like it’s emotion,” Mullins said.
However, he said that he was in Georgia recently and was disturbed by what he saw as a lack of election security.
"I think it’s just some carelessness," he said. "The system needs to be relooked at."
Mullins also said it was time for Trump to concede.
“I hate to say it, but it’s time for the president to come out and say, 'I’m peacefully transferring over the power,'” Mullins said. “If he wants to run again, run in 2024. We are at the point where the country is in danger of having a civil war, and it’s very emotional.”
In a 4:15 p.m. Jan. 6 video released from the White House, Trump repeated his claims that the election was “fraudulent” and that he won in a “landslide.” He told the protesters he loved them but said it was time to go home. He did not concede.
Mullins said he's worried that with Biden in the White House, the United States will become too politically correct. He said Obama focused too much on "same-sex marriage and transgender bathrooms, and we lost the focus of what this country really is: It's an economic engine." Trump, by contrast, brought "God back inside the White House, and it felt good."
Michael Waltz is Flagler's representative in the House, and he condemned the protesters' violence. He tweeted at about 2 p.m. Jan. 6: "This is not who we are as a people or as a country. This is wrong and condemnable. God bless the Capitol police and keep them safe."
Earlier, Waltz tweeted his intention to vote against some of the votes of the Electoral College. He also tweeted the following on Jan. 5: "This is not unprecedented. Today, I vow to uphold my oath to the Constitution by reviewing every objection on its merit & forming my decision on the word of the law — not just for this election but for many elections to come."
Washington, D.C., residents were ordered by officials to stay home, and they condemned the violence by the protesters.