RIO GRANDE CITY, Texas – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has condemned President Trump for his role in Wednesday’s storming of the nation’s Capitol by so-called “Trump troops.”
However, Cruz has not yet called on Trump to resign.
“The president’s rhetoric was irresponsible,” Cruz said, in an interview with KHOU 11-TV. “I think it was reckless and I don’t think it was remotely helpful.”
In the run-up to Wednesday’s rally in Washington, D.C., the president encouraged his supporters to attend, saying it would be “wild.”
At the rally itself, Trump told the crowd to march to the Capitol. Later in the day, hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, breaking through the lines of Capitol Police. Some were able to get on the Senate floor, damage was done and a Capitol police officer was killed.
“We saw a terrorist attack on the United States Capitol,” Cruz said. “Everyone who attacked the Capitol should be fully prosecuted and they should spend a long, long time in jail.”
Cruz said calls for the 25th Amendment to be enforced, which would mean the removal of Trump from office, would be “extreme.”
He said: “I don’t think that’s going to prove necessary. We have 13 days remaining of the president’s tenure. He will leave office at noon on January 20 and we are now in the process of a peaceful transition of power to the next administration, a Joe Biden presidency.”
It took Cruz a long time to acknowledge Biden had won. On Wednesday, while the so-called Trump troops were ransacking the Capitol, Texas’ junior senator was trying to get a special commission established that would have delayed the constitutional duty of members of Congress to count the votes. Cruz said a commission was needed to look into claims that the presidential election was rigged.
“I think that would have enhanced faith and confidence in our democratic system,” Cruz said. “There are serious allegations of election fraud in this last cycle.”
Cruz gave credence to the notion that the election was rigged even though every state in the union had certified the results and President Trump had failed to prove such allegations in court.
Critics of Cruz say he gave false hope to Trump’s supporters that the election results could be overturned. Some have called on Cruz to resign.
“What America witnessed Wednesday, January 6, 2021 was nothing less than an attempted take-over of our nation’s government by armed thugs and Texas Senator Ted Cruz was complicit in those illegal criminal actions under our laws against sedition and treason,” said Rodolfo Rosales, Jr., state director of the League of United Latin American Citizens.
“His refusal to accept the lawfully cast votes of millions of citizens is one thing but then inciting through his continued lies the lawless violence that led to destruction and death in the hallowed United States Capitol is a breach of his sworn duty. He is no longer fit to serve and Texas LULAC calls for his immediate resignation or removal by Texas Governor Greg Abbott.”
Asked if he assumes any blame for the violence, Cruz told KHOU:
“Not remotely. What I was doing and what the other senators were doing is what we were elected to do, which is debating matters of great import in the chamber of the United States Senate. I joined with 11 other senators and we proposed to the Senate that Congress should appoint an electoral commission.”
Cruz’s proposal was heavily defeated and some of the 11 bailed when they saw the damage inflicted by the insurgents. Rosales said he was not buying Cruz’s explanation.
“Senator Cruz was a willful participant in an attempted coup cabal that planted the seeds for an armed attack by deliberately and knowingly telling Texans that widespread election fraud was committed in our recent elections. Yesterday could have had a very different outcome for our country had it not been for the brave members of law enforcement and federal authorities who rushed in to protect our nation’s capitol and the members of Congress. Make no mistake about it. Senator Cruz and others, including the President, were looking for that tipping point moment that fortunately our nation was able to avert.”
LULAC is the nation’s largest and oldest Hispanic civil rights organization in the nation. It is rare for the group to call for the resignation of a Latino elected official. Rosales said Texas LULAC takes “no pride” in calling for the removal of a sitting United States Senator. “However, Mr. Cruz represents a threat to our interests and can no longer be trusted to serve for the betterment of the people of Texas.”
U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar said he wished Cruz had taken the same course of action as U.S. Sen. John Cornyn when considering acceptance of the presidential election’s certified votes.
“Senator Cruz? That his decision on whether to resign. I highly disagree with the position that he took,” Cuellar said, on a webinar he hosted Friday.
“I have got to hand it to Senator Cornyn. I think Senator Cornyn understood that we cannot come in and say what happened in Pennsylvania and Arizona was fraudulent. More than 60 cases were filed by Republicans and by the Trump administration, many of them under Republic and judges, some of them judges appointed by Trump himself. In none of those cases was election fraud found. They were all dismissed.”
Cuellar is a former Secretary of State for Texas. He said that if fraud had been committed, local officials would have found it. “There was none and so for senators to come in and say they know better than the judges or the local election officials is wrong.”
Rio Grande City Mayor Joel Villarreal was also on the Cuellar webinar. Villarreal said: “I do agree absolutely that President Trump must be held accountable for inciting this insurrection. But I would like to take it a step further and say that all members of Congress who continue to perpetuate his greatest lie to the American people, that we had anything but free and fair elections, should also be held accountable.”
U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro of San Antonio is the immediate past president of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Castro said:
“Senator Ted Cruz played a major role in the lead up to yesterday’s disgraceful act of insurrection and domestic terrorism at the capitol by Trump supporters who were told again and again that the election was stolen — despite no evidence to support that unAmerican attack on our election process.
“Ted likes to blather on and on about patriotism, but the reality of the situation is that his campaign to spread lies and undermine our democracy is the definition of unpatriotic. A man willing to jeopardize American lives and our democracy in order to cling to power has no business representing the great state of Texas in the Senate.”
Castro said her is calling for Cruz to resign from Senate, immediately.
“Despite knowing better, Ted Cruz chose to pollute the public with blatant disinformation designed to undermine the integrity of the 2020 election results. He lied because he is betting that this will help him with Trump voters in 2024. His decision to place his own political future ahead of the integrity of American democracy is a betrayal of everything this country stands for.”
Castro added: “He needs to resign immediately and face the repercussions for his decision to aid our enemies by undermining our democracy and national security.”
Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above news story shows U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas on KHOU 11-TV.
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