The news media and some Democrats are trashing U.S. Rep. Derrick Van Orden, a Republican, for demanding decorum in the U.S. Capitol and for – shocker, here – serving beer and cheese to constituents he was hosting on a tour of his congressional office.
They do realize he’s from Wisconsin, right?
“I will not allow anyone to tarnish this House where we had Union soldiers die fighting to end slavery,” Van Orden told talk show host Dan O’Donnell. “I am not going to allow people to defile that. I will not.” He also said the spot is where every President has lain in state.
“It’s not going to happen on my watch, man,” said the former Navy SEAL.
A reporter for the site “Punchbowl News,” Max Cohen, started the sideshow when he tweeted, “Per a source, here’s a photo from last night of a bunch of alcohol in Van Orden’s office. Van Orden and staff were heard partying loudly before he cursed out a group of teenage Senate pages.”
How do you say you have never been to Wisconsin without saying you have never been to Wisconsin?
Those were constituents, you must be a flat-lander. https://t.co/S1sfFlWvQg
— Derrick Van Orden (@derrickvanorden) July 27, 2023
Van Orden responded on Twitter, “How do you say you have never been to Wisconsin without saying you have never been to Wisconsin? Those were constituents, you must be a flat-lander.”
Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman also alleged that Van Orden called the pages “lazy sh***” because “they were in the Rotunda taking pictures on the floor. He told them to get the f*** up.” Here’s a fuller transcript:
We obtained a transcript of Rep. Van Orden cursing out Senate pages overnight in the Capitol Rotunda. The account was taken by a page who wrote down the remarks minutes after the incident:https://t.co/0Xu1m93QhY pic.twitter.com/uaxdWWux6u
— Al Weaver (@alweaver22) July 27, 2023
Actually, Van Orden was hosting constituents and visitors in his Congressional office, his spokeswoman says.
“The biggest thing is that the Punchbowl reporter tweeted the photo here with the obvious implications and without asking for comment,” said Van Orden’s spokeswoman Anna Kelly, to WRN. “Derrick is known for his tours of the Capitol where he hosts constituents and visitors from throughout the day. The ‘staff partying loudly’ were actually roughly 50 constituents and visitors who he hosted for beer, cheese, and beverages before heading out on the tour.”
Van Orden told O’Donnell that Democrats were criticizing “a Republican standing up for the integrity of the House of Representatives.” O’Donnell asked him about reports that Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had criticized Van Orden.
“These folks are afraid of the fact that the Republican Party in the House of Representatives under Kevin McCarthy are getting things done,” said Van Orden, adding that the controversy is “stuff no one cares about.”
“I actually said, ‘Get off my lawn,'” Van Orden joked, saying he was misquoted.
“People forget what that building means, and they’re very happy to make national news and try to torpedo an entire political party when people defile the center of Democracy, which I agree with,” Van Orden said. “That building means a lot more than people understand. The Capitol rotunda was a field hospital during the Civil War.”
“We don’t even know how many countless Union soldiers, who were fighting to end slavery, died on that floor, where these young folks were lying down, you know, filming TikTok videos or whatever they were doing, at exactly the same spot where every president since that building was built has lied in state. All of them. When you see the shroud with a coffin on it, that’s exactly where these young people were lying on the floor goofing off. I’m just not going to accept that.”
Van Orden added that “The Democrat Party has nothing to talk about but this.” He ticked off a list of Republican accomplishments recently, from passing a parents’ bill of rights to terminating the COVID emergency to passing legislation to help secure the border. He said that he had recently proposed legislation to mitigate dam failures and help small and medium-sized dairies, among other measures.
Contrary to false liberal narratives against him, Van Orden repeated that he was never inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. He pointed out that he immediately condemned those who broke the law and called for them to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. He was about 425 meters away from the building when the rioting first broke out, and he said he was so disgusted that he left. He condemned political violence on the left or right.