The claim immediately led to major backlash, especially from those on right-wing Twitter, who pointed to a slew of other tragedies in America between the 1860s and 2021 – like the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack, Pearl Harbor, presidential assassinations and others.
‘January 6 was worse than 9/11? Or Pearl Harbor?’ Glenn Greenwald, a journalist and former attorney wrote in a Twitter thread.
‘Or the Oklahoma City bombing? Or the dismantling of civil liberties in the name of the Cold War and War on Terror? Or the mass surveillance program secretly and illegally implemented by NSA aimed at US citzens (sic)?’ he continued, calling the president a ‘drama queen’ for hyperbolizing the January 6 riots.
Joe Biden was excoriated on Twitter Wednesday after claiming in his first address to a joint session of Congress that the Capitol storming was the ‘worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War’
People immediately took to Twitter to break down the claim, listing attacks that happened between the 1860s and 2021 like the September 11 terrorist attacks and presidential assassinations
Trump advisor Jason Miller noted 9/11 and Pearl Harbor
‘How about the War on Drugs, mass incarceration and Jim Crow?’ Greenwald quipped. ‘Were those worse ‘attacks on democracy’ than the 3-hour Capitol riot on Jan. 6?’
‘The assassination of JFK? The interference in domestic politics by the CIA? The list of worse attacks than Jan. 6 is endless,’ he concluded.
‘Worst attack on our Democracy since the Civil War? Not 9/11? Not Pearl Harbor???’ Trump advisor Jason Miller tweeted Wednesday.
At the top of Biden’s speech, the president lamented the situation he inherited from Donald Trump when he was inaugurated on January 20.
‘As I stand here tonight — just one day shy of the 100th day of my administration. 100 days since I took the oath of office, lifted my hand off our family Bible, and inherited a nation in crisis,’ Biden said.
He then listed: ‘The worst pandemic in a century. The worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War.’
‘Now, after just 100 days, I can report to the nation: America is on the move again,’ he said, dubbing himself the fixer of all the aforementioned issues. ‘Turning peril into possibility. Crisis into opportunity. Setback into strength.
Washington Examiner Justice Reporter noted that 9/11 was a major attack on American democracy from an outside threat
He alsno noted JFK’s assassination
The reporter made sure to mention other presidential assassinations and attempts
He noted that the Capitol attack was bad, but then listed other Capitol attacks over the years
‘Life can knock us down,’ Biden said. ‘But in America, we never stay down. In America, we always get up. And today, that’s what we’re doing: America is rising anew.’
‘After 100 Days of rescue and renewal, America is ready for takeoff,’ he continued.
‘100 days ago, America’s house was on fire. We had to act.’
Twitter was not happy with Biden’s classification of the January 6 events.
Washington Examiner Justice reporter Jerry Dunleavy wrote on Twitter: ‘9/11 was an attack on our democracy. Flight 93 was headed for the U.S. Capitol, and if not for the brave actions of those on board, it’s very possible the building would’ve been a smoking crater. Instead, it crashed in a field ~20 minutes from DC, & all 40 passengers & crew died.’
‘The terrorist attacks of 9/11 also successfully targeted the Pentagon – a prominent global symbol of our democracy’s military might,’ he continued. ‘The plane smashing into the side of the Pentagon killed the 59 passengers & crew on board the aircraft as well as 125 people inside the Pentagon.’
‘President John F. Kennedy was also literally assassinated,’ Dunleavy wrote in another post as part of his thread.
He later added: ‘Sorry, I forgot a few things here. Lincoln was assassinated a few days after Lee surrendered to Grant (though a few Confederate generals held out for a couple more months). Garfield, McKinley, & JFK were all assassinated. Teddy Roosevelt was shot. Reagan was shot & almost died.’
‘The Oklahoma City bombing was a domestic terrorist attack willfully targeting a federal government building, and it killed 168 people,’ he continued in his list.
‘The Capitol riot was very bad. Let’s get serious about American history tho. The Weather Underground bombed the Capitol in 1971.The May 19th Communist Organization bombed the Capitol in 1983,’ Dunleavy tweeted.
‘Pearl Harbor,’ he wrote in a standalone tweet.
At the conclusion of his speech Wednesday, Biden said world leaders don’t think American democracy can ‘overcome the lies, anger, hate and fears.’ He added: ‘They look at the images of the mob that assaulted this Capitol as proof that the sun is setting on American democracy’
The Federalist senior editor Mollie Hemingway noted some of the same instances in her own attack on the president’s classification of the attack.
‘Biden asserts riot was a worse attack than various bombings and deadly attacks on the Capitol, deadly Summer of Rage with its attacks on the WH and federal court buildings, four presidential assassinations, another five assassination attempts, Pearl Harbor, and 9/11. OK,’ she tweeted.
A social media associate with right-wing Daily Caller reminded: ‘3,000 Americans died on 9/11.’
The January 6, 2021 Capitol storming occurred after then-President Trump held a ‘stop the steal’ rally outside the White House that day when Congress met to certify the Electoral College results for Biden.
After the rally, thousands of Trump supporters marched to Capitol Hill for a protest outside, before many began storming the doors of the building to prevent lawmakers from certifying the results.
Thousands of Trump supporters descended on the Capitol January 6, 2021 to protest Congress as it held a joint session to certify the election results for Joe Biden
The ordeal went on for hours that afternoon into evening, and resulted in a handful of deaths – including that of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick.
Hundreds were injured.
Lawmakers later shared their account of hiding in the chambers and their offices while the Capitol was put on lockdown after protesters were able to breach the doors of the building.
That month, the House, under the leadership of Speaker Nancy Pelsi, swiftly moved to impeach Trump for a second time. The Senate did not sway 17 Republicans to vote to convict Trump, making it the second unsuccessful impeachment trial against him.
At the conclusion of Biden’s speech Wednesday, where only 200 lawmakers were present due to COVID-19 restriction, he brought back up the attack on the Capitol.
‘Can our democracy overcome the lies, anger, hate and fears that have pulled us apart?’ Biden questioned.
‘America’s adversaries – the autocrats of the world – are betting it can’t,’ he continued. ‘They believe we are too full of anger and division and rage. They look at the images of the mob that assaulted this Capitol as proof that the sun is setting on American democracy.’
But Biden assured: ‘They are wrong. And we have to prove them wrong. We have to prove democracy still works. That our government still works – and can deliver for the people.’
He called the attack an ‘existential crisis’
Kyle Kashuv, a Parkland school shooting survivor, wrote: ‘Idk 9/11 was pretty bad’ in response to Biden calling it the worst attack on American democracy.
‘1/6 worse than 9/11 according to Biden,’ a booker for Fox News tweeted along with an infamous image of a man falling down the side of the World Trade Center after the planes hit.