Minnesota GOP calls for peace during transition to Biden administration

"It's time for our country to move forward and work together as Americans," the GOP chairwoman said.
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Law enforcement stands outside the governor's residence in St. Paul on Jan. 6.

Law enforcement stands outside the governor's residence in St. Paul on Jan. 6.

Amid possible threats and violence in Minnesota and elsewhere leading up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20, the Republican Party of Minnesota is calling for peace. 

GOP Party Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan on Wednesday released a statement again condemning the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, and saying she hopes to never again see "the violent actions" that took place.

"As Minnesotans, I know we have love in our hearts," Carnahan said. "We should always remember to exude that love through grace, patience, right thought and peaceful actions.

"As we transition to a new administration it's time for our country to move forward and work together as Americans to keep the American Dream strong for generations to come," she added. 

This comes as Gov. Tim Walz on Wednesday activated the Minnesota National Guard to support state and local law enforcement following reports that the FBI has received "credible threats" of right-wing, anti-government violence, including from the "Boogaloo Bois," being planned at the Minnesota State Capitol this weekend. 

It has also been reported that an FBI memo warned "armed protests are being planned at all 50 state capitols" between Jan. 16 and Jan. 20. 

Law enforcement has had an increased presence at the state Capitol since the summer due to continued protests there and outside of the governor's residence in St. Paul.

And that presence has only increased since Jan. 6 when Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol. Also that day, a group gathered at the Minnesota State Capitol – which is still fenced off and closed to the public – for a "Stop the Steal" rally, during which speakers called for violence and made threats against the governor's family, lawmakers and judges. 

DFL House leaders called on Republicans, some of whom attended and spoke at the rally in St. Paul, to condemn the violent rhetoric, which they did in a letter on Tuesday.

All 59 members of the Minnesota House Republican Caucus signed the letter, which called for everyone to come together and "affirm that violence, destruction and threats – no matter the context – should be condemned." (Earlier in the day, Walz criticized Republican legislative leadership for comparing the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol to the riots in Minneapolis following the killing of George Floyd during a forum).

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Carnahan's statement on Wednesday did not call out Democrats or mention previous riots or protests in Minnesota, as has been a common theme among Republicans in the days following the insurrection.

Meanwhile, Walz is calling for unity among Minnesotans. This week, he has been visiting American historical monuments across the state "to call for reflection, civility and peace" and encouraging Minnesotans to "reflect on how divisive rhetoric undermined our democratic institutions over time and will call on Minnesotans to come together to restore democracy for all," his office said. 

However, the message isn't getting across to everyone. 

Ahead of his visit to Wasioja, Minnesota, on Wednesday, someone hung a sign saying he isn't welcome, adding "stop the steal," "Second Amendment" and "patriots," according to a tweet from Joe Ahlquist with the Rochester Post Bulletin

During his speech at the former Civil War recruiting station in Dodge City, Walz said, "Civil disagreements and civil discourse toward a common good is something we've been able to figure out for almost 250 years," adding that to honor Minnesota's history we have to figure out how to have civil discourse and pass power through free and fair elections. 

Walz said in Minnesota, they're doing everything they can to ensure "civil order is kept in a physical way" while trying to move the conversation forward to get out of the pattern in which people who view things differently are our enemies.

Meanwhile, the governor stressed the importance of people being able to differentiate fact and conspiracy theories, noting people can have different points of view from the same set of facts.

It becomes a problem "when we're all operating on a different set of 'facts,'" he said. 

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