ABC News anchor David Muir pushed back after former New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie attempted to compare the the 2000 and 2016 presidential election results with the Capitol riot of January 6, 2021. On that date a mob lead by former Republican President Donald Trump's White nationalist supporters attacked the United States Capitol on the false premise the election had been stolen.
As a result, at least five people died, there were over 100 injuries to law enforcement and millions of dollars in damages.
Muir was quick to point out Republicans backed Trump's lies despite a lack of any credible evidence after Christie claimed supporters of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2016 and then-Vice President Al Gore in 2000 refused to accept the "legitimate" results of elections they had won the popular vote in.
Both Gore and Clinton won the popular vote, but lost the electoral vote.
And when Christie suggested the dissatisfaction with those prior elections had awakened a "very dangerous thing in this country," Muir interjected, reminding the audience "there isn’t a real equivalency here when you have a former President who is sowing seeds of doubt."
You can watch their exchange in the video below.
\u201cABC News anchor David Muir pushes back against Chris Christie for equating the 2000 election between Gore and Bush to the Jan. 6 insurrection.\n\n"I just don't want our audience thinking there is a real equivalency here when you have a former president who is sowing seeds of doubt"\u201d— Justin Baragona (@Justin Baragona) 1655841361
There was indeed nationwide outrage following the election of Trump to the executive office, but there's more to the picture.
Americans shocked by the election results made their opposition known through large-scale protests, walkouts and marches across major cities.
Minorities, LGBTQs, the disabled, and women fearful of what a Trump presidency would mean for their lives and communities helped lead the actions in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, Pittsburgh, Chicago, and New York, among other cities in predominantly blue states that voted heavily against Trump.
While more information about the extent to which Russian operatives had worked to sow discord and subvert the electoral process would later come to light, it is worth noting that Clinton conceded the election to Trump and that there was a peaceful transfer of power between the outgoing Obama and incoming Trump administrations.
And while there was definitely significant anger about the 2000 general election results, it is notable that Gore chose to concede the race against Bush after weeks of legal proceedings surrounding a tight race in Florida and the decision of the Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore to halt the recount there.
Gore had won the popular vote, much like Clinton would in 2016, but challenged the election results based on the fact electoral votes in Florida were still undecided.
Weeks after the controversial ruling, when Congress met for a joint session to certify the electoral vote, Gore, who presided in his capacity as President of the Senate, ruled the objections of twenty members of the House of Representatives out of order because, pursuant to the Electoral Count Act, any such objection had to be sponsored by both a Representative and a Senator.
Christie's false equivalencies did not go over well on social media, where he was immediately criticized.
\u201cChris Christie is an avatar of the stance: "I'm a reasonable Republican so I'm gonna say the insurrection was bad, but actually it's all the Democrats' fault"\u201d— Jordan Jameson \ud83c\udf10 (@Jordan Jameson \ud83c\udf10) 1655861391
\u201c@ChrisChristie maybe it\u2019s time for you to retire from any media appearances!\u201d— Ddh41\u262e\ufe0f (@Ddh41\u262e\ufe0f) 1655863703
\u201cThere are no both sides in a coup. @ChrisChristie\u201d— Watch what they DO, not what they say. (@Watch what they DO, not what they say.) 1655852614
\u201cOk here\u2019s @GovChristie \nBeing a MAGA \n\nMy 2 cents.\nGore & Clinton didn\u2019t summons Dems 2 the \u201cCAPITOL & fight like hell or you won\u2019t hv a country\u201d. Or, summons Dems 2 intimidate voters @ polls w/guns. \nOr file 62 cases W/O evidence. \n\nRepublicans have ATTACKED USA, NOT Democrats\u203c\ufe0f\u201d— Yvonne Chisholm (@Yvonne Chisholm) 1655848088
\u201cThe Chris Christie rehabilitation tour continues. Remember he enabled TFG's antics for years and only now after the "find out" part is approaching is he saying it was bad, and even then not fully committing. Yet another craven, self-serving member of the club.\u201d— Patrick, totally normal human person (@Patrick, totally normal human person) 1655848219
\u201c\u201cYou\u2019ve had @HillaryClinton say that she still doesn\u2019t accept the 2016 election results as legitimate.\u201d \u2013@ChrisChristie (R-NJ)\n\nHillary conceded on November 9. There was a peaceful transition. End of story.\u201d— Bad Fox Graphics (@Bad Fox Graphics) 1655847866
\u201cChristie is not even offering credible BS for the money ABC is paying him.\u201d— davidrlurie (@davidrlurie) 1655847684
\u201cChris needs a new job. Enough of his gas lighting!\u201d— Mary Jane Smith (@Mary Jane Smith) 1655853136
\u201cseriously, Christie needs to STFU. This is not even close to the same thing, and the only reason to even reference those was to create some kind of both-sides narrative that just isn't true.\u201d— keith h. (@keith h.) 1655862633
Christie has long fallen out of Trump's good graces.
Earlier this year, he criticized Trump for praising Russian President Vladimir Putin even as the international community responded with outrage and issued sanctions in response to Putin's invasion of Ukraine.
Christie wrote an angry tweet decrying Trump for calling Putin's move to invade Ukraine "genius" and "savvy" as the world watches Putin "unite the rest of the world against Russia in nearly an instant."
Christie noted Putin can either choose to raze Ukraine and murder President Volodymyr Zelenskyy or retreat, which Christie acknowledged would be "humiliating."
Neither choice is a net positive, Christie noted, nor are they the options one would expect to see made by an actually "genius" leader.