Representative Ruben Gallego has said he was thinking about “trying to stab a person” during the storming of the U.S. Capitol on January 6 as his experience in the U.S. Marines kicked in.
Gallego, a Democrat who represents Arizona’s 7th congressional district, was present in the chamber of the House of Representatives when supporters of former President Donald Trump attempted to enter.
He told The Independent in an interview published on Saturday that he was contemplating which members of the House could be used to form a defensive position.
Gallego served with the U.S. Marines in Iraq and he told the newspaper his instincts from his military service kicked in on January 6.
“Well, what triggered me to snap back in was when I saw the really scared, scared faces of the young staffers,” Gallego said.
“They reminded me a lot of the young Marines I served with in combat, and how necessary it was to show leadership and give people direction.”
Gallego was contemplating the possibility of some younger members of the House taking up a defensive posture and his own potential role in dealing with the rioters.
“I mean, I was thinking about trying to stab a person and take away their weapon and keep fighting, and trying to figure out who are the younger members that can create a defensive position,” Gallego said.
“And all these things that you never think you ever have to do on the floor of the House of Representatives,” he added.
The House and Senate were meeting on January 6 to ratify the Electoral College votes of the 2020 presidential election in what is usually a formality when a mob breached the Capitol. A select committee of the House is currently investigating the events of that day and has issued a series of subpoenas.
Gallego has been a member of the House since 2015 and has been talked about as a possible primary challenger to Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), who has been criticized for opposition to President Joe Biden‘s Build Back Better Act, which the Democrats aim to pass through the budget reconciliation process.
The congressman told The Independent he would have to consider a number of factors before entering a Senate race in 2024 and that he was focused on reelection in 2022 and passing the Build Back Better Act.
Gallego said he would trust Sinema as he trusted moderate Democrats in the House who said they will vote for the reconciliation if the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) assessment of the bill matches what the White House has said.
He voted in favor of the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill last week. Passing that bill was linked to a procedural motion to advance the larger reconciliation bill, though negotiations among Democrats are still ongoing.
“I’m going to give her trust on this because I think, at the end of the day, she’ll have to answer to her constituents,” Gallego said. “And for me, we can’t operate under this idea that nothing’s going to move. We’re going to do our best that we can.”