"Be armed! Be dangerous": Republicans celebrate Rittenhouse verdict

Republican lawmakers and pundits rallied after Friday's "not guilty" verdict

Published November 19, 2021 8:17PM (EST)

Marjorie Taylor Greene, Madison Cawthorn and Lauren Boebert (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)
Marjorie Taylor Greene, Madison Cawthorn and Lauren Boebert (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)

Friday's acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager who traveled to a Black Lives Matter protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin in August of 2020 and fatally shot two men, was met with jubilation on the right. 

A jury found Rittenhouse not guilty on the homicide charges for the killings of Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, and not guilty of attempted first-degree intentional homicide in the wounding of Gaige Grosskreutz. Republicans celebrated online. 

The House Judiciary GOP account tweeted "Justice."

Lauren Southern, a Canadian alt-right activist, tweeted that Rittenhouse "falls to the ground sobbing a free man. What an incredible moment."

Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-NC, offered Rittenhouse an internship in his office, and told his followers to "be armed, and be dangerous."

Cawthorn is not the only Representative to offer Rittenhouse an internship. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-FL, has also said he would offer one to Rittenhouse upon his acquittal, and Rep. Paul Gosar, R-AZ, offered to "arm wrestle Matt Gaetz" for "dibs" on Rittenhouse.

Ann Coulter posted a meme of superheroes bowing to Rittenhouse, carrying his weapon, flanked by two nurses in scrubs with eagles for heads.

Tomi Lahren tweeted "Justice has been served!!"

"Now Kyle should spend the next year suing the absolute pants off of every news outlet and person, including our president, who slandered him!!" 

Others echoed the sentiment that Rittenhouse should pursue legal action for alleged defamation by news outlets and President Biden. Bryan Dean Wright, a Fox News contributor, who tweeted that he would "like to contribute to the legal fund of Kyle Rittenhouse, as he sues the shit out of Leftist media."

Senator Tom Cotton, R-AK, called on President Joe Biden to "apologize" to Rittenhouse.

Former White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany retweeted Cotton, and posted "Kyle Rittenhouse found NOT GUILTY on all charges!"

GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel tweeted that Biden "prejudged the Rittenhouse case. He smeared a teenager… Biden needs to apologize and ACT NOW before the left uses his lies to fuel violence."

Others praised the jury for their decision. Donald Trump Jr. tweeted that "The Rittenhouse jury just gave Biden his second colonoscopy of the day."

Senator Ted Cruz, R-TX, tweeted, "This acquittal isn't just about Kyle Rittenhouse." 

Buzz Patterson, a former Republican candidate for Congress from California, wrote on Twitter that "The American justice system was on trial as well. The jurors were bold and brave in not submitting to the media spin and potential threats."

Lisa Boothe, a Fox News contributor, tweeted "The Kyle Rittenhouse jury gives me hope for America. Even when faced with a violent and hate-filled mob, they still did what was just and right"

Candace Owens tweeted "NOT GUILTY….Justice wins the day"

Wendy Rogers, a state Senator from Arizona, tweeted that Rittenhouse's pronouns were "NOT GUILTY"

Tulsi Gabbard, a former Democratic presidential candidate and congressperson, wrote on Twitter that "The jury got it right... the government was motivated by politics, which itself should be considered criminal."

Outside of the courthouse, people erupted in cheers at the not guilty verdict. 

Rittenhouse's family, in a statement through their spokesperson, said that "Kyle's a free man, and rightfully so. It's been a hard year."

By Trish Rooney

Trish Rooney is an Editorial Intern with Salon and a graduate journalism student at New York University. Follow her on Twitter @trishroooney.

MORE FROM Trish Rooney