Republican congresswoman Marsha Blackburn reacted on Thursday to Democratic lawmakers who have decided to boycott Donald Trump's inauguration, saying she had hoped her colleagues would "stand in unity" for the nation.
As the the incoming Republican administration under President-elect Trump and a GOP-led Congress prepared for a slew of executive order overturns and legislative repeals come Inauguration Day, a number of Democratic lawmakers announced plans to boycott the Jan. 20 event.
When asked if she had a response to her Democratic colleagues' boycotting the inauguration, Blackburn expressed disappointment in their move.
"It disappoints me that they've decided to do that," Rep. Blackburn said in an interview with AOL News. "I think our nation has been well served by a two-party system and robust political debate. And I would hope that they would come and defend their side of the argument."
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Trump transition team vice chairman Sean Duffy slammed Democrats planning to boycott the inauguration earlier this week, saying, "Donald Trump won, you may not like him... but show up... Put your big boy pants on."
A historically hardline conservative, Blackburn described a feeling of "incredible excitement" around President-elect Trump's swearing in on Friday that is different than what she has experienced in previous years -- and has even noticed a shift in Hillary Clinton voters.
"People are very hopeful," the Tennessee representative said. "I talked to constituents that have heard from people around the country that supported Hillary Clinton and they said 'ya know, Donald Trump won. I like the fact that there's a Trump rally in the stock market. I like that fact that he's got the emphasis on jobs. Let's get on with it. Let's get the man sworn in and get to work with it."
Blackburn also expressed an eagerness to see a president who will work with lawmakers on the Hill, opposed to an outgoing administration who the representative says went around congress.
Representative Blackburn confirmed she will be attending the swearing in ceremony on Friday. This will be the fourth presidential inauguration since the former businesswoman was first elected to Congress in 2002.
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