’I was shocked, and yet I wasn’t shocked’: UVA’s Larry Sabato reacts to violence at the Capitol

Published: Jan. 7, 2021 at 4:13 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Wednesday’s chaos at the Capitol triggered shades of the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville in August 2017 for UVA Center for Politics Director Larry Sabato.

“In a sense I suppose the tiki torches had been carried from Charlottesville to the Capitol. There are similarities, but it’s become so much worse. There were hundreds of them [in Charlottesville], yesterday and on other occasions, there have been a total of thousands,” said Sabato.

He blames growing political division and vitriol nationwide for how Wednesday’s events unfolded.

“I was shocked, and yet I wasn’t shocked. If I’m really surprised at anything, it’s that it took so long for this to happen.”

When asked to compare the handling of this dark day in history to any other presidency, he responded: “There really is no comparison. Nixon, when he was under the growing weight of Watergate, tried to convince many of his supporters to demonstrate on his behalf, and some did so, but there was almost no violence.”

Even though politicians on both sides of the aisle have expressed disapproval for how President Trump handled Wednesday’s events, Sabato says it is unlikely he will be removed from office before the end of his term either through impeachment or the 25th Amendment.

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