SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Tuesday afternoon, Representative Buddy Carter was on his way to Washington, D.C. to attend the inauguration of Joe Biden.
“I didn’t vote for Joe Biden or Kamala Harris, but they are going to be our president and vice president,” he said. “I accept that, and I’m going to do everything I can to find common ground and work with them.”
Carter, a staunch Republican, represents coastal Georgia’s 1st district. And while he says he wants to work toward unity, he also quickly leveled criticism against the party that now holds the presidency and majorities in the House and Senate.
“I want to find common ground with them, unlike the Democrats, who never accepted Donald J. Trump and tried to impeach him twice, the last time on his way out the door,” said Carter.
Carter has not leveled blame against President Trump for inciting the violence that led to the insurrection on Jan. 6 but has condemned the rioters who took part. He acknowledges we are in a deeply divided nation and says the incredible security in our nation’s capital is a tragic reminder.
“And I’m sure everyone has seen it on TV and the optics are not good at all for a country like ours, a democracy like ours to have to have 8-foot fences with razor wire at the top,” he said. “Perhaps it is a little too much. But I will tell you, we weren’t prepared for Jan. 6, and we should have been better prepared.”
Carter said despite any security issues, it is important for him to to attend the inauguration.
“There’s going to be a smooth transition of power but certainly I wish President Trump had participated,” said Carter. “I think that would have been the right thing to do but that was his decision.”
Carter has said consistently he accepts results of the election but on Jan. 6, even after rioters rifled through the Capitol, he joined more than 100 Republican members of the House in voting to challenge results from the Electoral College.
Tuesday, he didn’t hesitate when asked if he had second thoughts. “No, I do not regret my decision to oppose the certification of the electoral votes in the state of Georgia,” said Carter.
Carter has said repeatedly he has a problem with how the Secretary of State in Georgia made certain changes in election procedures. When asked why it was appropriate to bring those concerns to Congress, Carter said “that’s why we do’, i.e. bring the Electoral College results before Congress.”
Carter indicated that many Republicans still have problems with election integrity but also said the election is over.
“So we go forward, we move forward, that’s what we do in this country,” he said.