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'Let's be people of peace' | Rep. Ted Budd speaks out about Capitol riot, Electoral objections and his party's future post-Trump

Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC-13) calls for peace on Inauguration Day, as he prepares to work with a Democrat-controlled Congress and administration.

GREENSBORO, Pa. — A nation -- divided. This year's inauguration of the Biden administration comes amid deep political discord between people and parties.

Republicans, especially, are feeling an internal rift as they move beyond Pres. Donald Trump's term. 

WFMY News 2's Meghann Mollerus sat down one-on-one (via Zoom) with U.S. Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC-District 13) a week after the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol. He explained he knew the first week of his third Congressional term would have challenges.

"We knew there would be crowds in D.C. We knew it was a tense moment," he recalled.

Georgia had just flipped the U.S. Senate blue, cementing a Democrat-controlled Congress. And, Budd was preparing to mount objections to Electoral vote processes in six states Pres. Donald Trump lost.

Watch: Budd explains Electoral objections

But he didn't anticipate the deadly mayhem that ensued, when a mob of rioters breached the U.S. Capitol building while Congress was certifying the Presidential election results. At the time, Budd was on the House floor speaking about Arizona's electoral vote processes, when he realized something was happening outside chamber doors.

RELATED: FBI says range of crimes 'unmatched' in Capitol riots

"You could see the movement of the Capitol police and sergeant of arms on the floor. They closed the doors, made an announcement saying they would be using some tear gas, so asked us to use gas masks and get those ready... there was a lady who was shot that was to the Speaker's right hand, 20 feet behind her," Budd said.

Watch: Budd condemns violence at Capitol

As the doors locked, Budd said representatives locked arms, fleeing downstairs to safety.

"My speech (about the objections) had words quoting Democrat Barbara Lee (CA), who was an objector in a prior election (Ohio in 2005). Interestingly, as we're going arm in arm and helping members down the stairs, I realize I'm arm in arm with Barbara Lee," Budd remembered. "So, we're all neither Republicans or Democrats, at that point."

RELATED: NC Representative, Kathy Manning, recalls crouching down on House gallery floor while rioters tried to break in

It was a momentary point of unity Budd knows lawmakers and constituents desperately need, in order to heal from the past and determine the future.

"There's a lot of things, say 80%, of things that just aren't partisan," he said.

Among the bipartisan priorities are urgent initiatives to help Americans struggling to pay bills and to help states get vaccines out much faster.

"I think we need to make sure there's enough production out there and to make sure those who are capable of administering vaccines or shots -- that they have access...and I think this is about stepping up in a disruptive time, and we're going to get through this," he said.

Meanwhile, a new administration will take the helm at a time when Americans feel uneasy about unrest. Budd echoed bipartisan calls for calm as the Biden administration swears into office Jan. 20.

RELATED: Inauguration Day 2021: What we know about the plans so far

"I would encourage everyone, wherever someone is on the political spectrum, let's stay home. And, let's be people of peace," he urged.

As for the future of the Republican Party post-President Trump, Budd said, "I think we have a great platform. We don't want to confuse that with any candidate. We want to make sure our ideas are the ones that persevere, because they bring the most freedom..."

RELATED: 300 North Carolina National Guard troops helping with Inauguration Day security

Full interview: Budd reflects on the Capitol riot, the need for legislation related to COVID and social media liability protection (Section 230) and the future of the Republican party at a time many voters feel 'demoralized'

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