‘Jarring’: Fetterman Compares January 6 to 9/11 Attacks

November 3, 2022

Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman on Wednesday compared the 9/11 attacks, in which Islamist terrorists murdered 2,977 Americans, to the January 6, 2021, Capitol riots.

Speaking at a campaign event in Erie, Pa., Fetterman said his feeling following the Capitol riot was "similar" to that after he watched airplanes fly into the World Trade Center in New York City.

"It was jarring," he said. "The last thing I would actually think it was similar, that feeling of 9/11, you see the planes hit. Where this idea you just watch this, I can’t believe you have thousands of people overrunning our government like that."

Democrats frequently invoke the January 6 riots on the campaign trail even though the event ranks low on the list of concerns facing voters. A Harvard/Harris poll published last month found that just 7 percent of respondents said the riot was the most important issue facing the country. The economy, inflation, immigration, and crime ranked higher on the list of voter concerns.

Fetterman came under fire earlier in the campaign for a pro-abortion event he held on September 11 with an activist who supports the movement to defund police. Seventy-one law enforcement officers died in the line of duty on 9/11, mostly at the World Trade Center.

With his latest remarks, Fetterman carries on a long tradition of Democrats invoking the 9/11 terrorist attacks to events that were far less significant in American history. Failed Kentucky Senate candidate Amy McGrath said in 2017 she felt similar to 9/11 after Donald Trump’s election. Disgraced FBI agent Peter Strzok, whose anti-Trump text messages got him fired from the bureau, said last month that "9/11 is nothing compared to January 6" in terms of its "threat to democracy."

Fetterman also made an inaccurate claim about his opponent Mehmet Oz’s position on the January 6 riots. Fetterman asserted that Oz has echoed Trump’s call to pardon "all" of the rioters charged with breaching the Capitol to protest the presidential election results. In truth, Oz has said he would have certified the 2020 election results and has not called for pardons for the rioters.

Five people, including four Trump supporters, died at the Capitol or in the immediate aftermath of the riots. Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick died of a stroke a day after the siege. Three Trump supporters died from medical complications. A Capitol police officer fatally shot an unarmed Trump supporter, Ashli Babbitt.

The Fetterman campaign did not respond to a request for comment.