On his first appearance on C-SPAN’s nationally televised Washington Journal program on Wednesday, the first call-in question that freshman Utah Rep. Blake Moore faced was a doozy.
A caller from Price, Utah, said that because he’s a Democrat in a Republican area, he had been run off the road. A neighbor told him his mother asked him “to buy an AR-15 so she could kill Democrats.” He told Moore to “get with Mitt Romney to see if he’ll loan you some backbone.”
So, the moderator asked Moore, R-Utah, to respond and comment on the political divide in America.
“I get the frustrations,” he said, adding that when he saw such bitterness displayed during the House debate on whether to impeach Donald Trump a second time that he largely discarded his prepared speech to address that divide.
“We’ve got to rise above it,” Moore said. “There’s so much negativity being spewed back and forth that we have to have folks that are willing to rise above it, focus on productivity, focused what’s best for folks.”
He said later in the show, “Politicians need to be always focused on what what first binds us and then we build from there.”
Moore added, “I was asked by a delegate one time, do you have the steel in your spine to do this job? And I can assure you that it’s there,” and said he is objective in his voting and seeks to do what is right.
The Utah Republican noted on his one-month anniversary of being sworn in that he had voted against many in his party who sought to overturn the electoral vote results. But he also voted against impeachment.
“But I do believe he [Trump] has some responsibility that needs to be addressed,” Moore said. He added that he preferred to censure Trump, and worried that the impeachment was rushed with no hearings or other due process.
A caller from Florida questioned that stand. “You want Mr. Trump to be allowed to walk away with no consequences for killing five people” who died because of the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol?
“I get the frustration,” Moore said again. “I understand the other side” of the debate and why many support impeachment. But, he added, “Impeachment is something that requires a high bar” — which he said he felt had not been met and proper process had not been followed.
Moore noted during the broadcast that he was in the gallery of the House chamber when the attack on the Capitol occurred, as police barred doors and told members quickly to put on gas masks. “It was quite an experience,” he said, adding his first month in office has been “a journal entry month. I’ll admit that for sure.”
Another caller said he truly believed the election was stolen from Trump — so Moore was also asked directly if he believed the election was stolen, too.
“No,” he said. Moore added that in many areas where some suggest Trump was robbed, Republicans won key House races that helped them narrow the Democratic majority — and he wants to focus on that.
“I want to keep building on that momentum. I believe the American people see value in conservative principles that are good for our economy,” he said.
Moore also said he supports Liz Cheney, the No. 3 ranking Republican in the House, who faces a move by conservatives to remove her because she was an outspoken proponent of impeaching Trump. Moore said he considers Cheney a mentor, and someone who has been very helpful to him.
When asked if he supports proposals to remove Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., from committee assignments because of her outspoken support of conspiracy theories, he said he would leave that to GOP leaders to handle and trust they will do the right thing.