Sen. Cramer: Rittenhouse Verdict Upheld Right to Self-Defense in Face of Violence

Sen. Cramer: Rittenhouse Verdict Upheld Right to Self-Defense in Face of Violence Sen. Cramer: Rittenhouse Verdict Upheld Right to Self-Defense in Face of Violence Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D. (Anna Moneymaaker/Getty Images)

By Fran Beyer | Sunday, 21 November 2021 12:42 PM

Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., said Sunday the jury verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse case sent a message that “you have a right” to defend yourself in the face of violence.

In an interview on NBC News’ “Meet The Press,” Cramer said the teen gunman’s exoneration also should get America back to supporting law enforcement.

“I think it sends the message you have a right to defend yourself against increasing violence,” he said of last week’s verdict in the Wisconsin trial.

“Let's get back to supporting police officers, supporting solid laws that protect innocent people so that innocent people don't feel like they always have to protect themselves,” he urged.

He said the case isn’t as much about guns “as it is about the heart of people.”

“There's no question we're living at a time in our country where the Congress you see that appears very divided is a reflection of our communities that are very divided,” he said. “So we all have a role to play in this. It's not just top-down or bottom-up. We all have a role and ought to use our platforms.”

Cramer also defended his support of the $1 trillion infrastructure bill, despite former President Donald Trump urging Republicans to reject the popular measure.

“I helped write a good part of this bill,” he said. “I was advocating for it long before [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell [R-Ky.] announced his support. He didn't induce me in any way. President Trump and I had a healthy conversation about it where I talked about the merits of the bill.”

“I don't make my decision on legislation based on whether it hurts or helps Donald Trump or hurts or helps [President] Joe Biden,” he added. “Unfortunately right now a lot of the rhetoric is centered around, as much as anything, this gave Joe Biden a victory. Whether he gets a victory or not I happen to believe that … not every transaction in Washington requires a loser.

“The North Dakotans will win [even] if Joe Biden looks good in the process,” he said, but added: “I’m more concerned about the North Dakotans.”