Peter DeFazio is a Democrat from Oregon’s Fourth Congressional District. He has represented Oregon in the house for 34 years. He said Wednesday’s events were worse than anything he’s seen in all that time.
DeFazio was among lawmakers who were evacuated from the U.S. Capitol building as supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the building during Congress’ certification of the presidential election.
“This was a very dangerous moment,” he said.
However, unlike the police, DeFazio said the outcome was expected.
“I went over to REI and bought a couple of cans of bear spray,” he said. “I figured something like this was going to happen.”
DeFazio went so far as to dress incognito for his journey to work on Wednesday morning, and to make sure he had scoped out possible exits from his office, in case the crowd became violent.
“I had a plan. There’s three ways out. And I figured they would come in the most obvious way. I had the bear spray and a baseball bat.”
He said he expected Capitol police to be better prepared.
DeFazio remains hopeful, however, that Democrats can accomplish enough in the next two years to bring Americans who may have voted for Trump out of frustration back to the Democratic party.
“We’ve got to demonstrate — and we’re going to have two short years to do it — and bring back millions of people who are disenfranchised, and willing to go along with these other more radical people, by giving them prospects and jobs, better health care and a whole host of issues. But now that we have a Senate, we have a chance to do that,” DeFazio said.