Ted Cruz, pilloried by Trump base, now regrets ‘stupid’ comment describing the Capitol crowd as ‘terrorists’

WASHINGTON – In one of the most remarkable shows of the post-Jan. In Era 6, Senator Ted Cruz was forced to limit damage to reassure Trump supporters that he does not really consider the mob attack on the United States Capitol to be a “violent terrorist attack” – even if he has described it that way for a year.

“The way I phrased it yesterday, it was sloppy and it was downright stupid,” Texas Republican told Fox News host Tucker Carlson during a grueling mea culpa segment Thursday night. . “I wasn’t saying that the thousands of peaceful protesters supporting Donald Trump are somehow terrorists. I wasn’t saying that the millions of patriots across the country who support Trump are terrorists.

Cruz’s ambitions of running another presidential race could depend on whether the Trump base forgives him for this intrusion.

The uproar reflects an ongoing battle over the gravity of the attack on Capitol Hill and the power of terms like “armed insurgency,” as President Joe Biden called it Thursday.

Cruz did not apologize, but instead defended his good faith as an ally of the January 6 mafia – their goals, if not their actions. His faux pas, he suggested, was not using the term “terrorism” per se, he was using it on the eve of the anniversary, when Democrats could use it to discredit Trump supporters.

“For a decade, I called people terrorists who violently assault police officers,” Cruz told Carlson. But “it was a mistake to use the word yesterday because Democrats and the corporate media politicized it so much. They try to portray everyone as a terrorist, and that’s a lie.

Carlson, an influential voice in the pro-Trump right-wing media – and himself also a potential 2024 GOP candidate – was not eager to let him off the hook for the nuanced explanation.

“What you just said doesn’t make sense,” Carlson said. “If someone assaults a cop they should be charged and go to jail … but the person is still not a terrorist.”

“What I was talking about is the limited number of people who have carried out violent attacks on the police,” Cruz insisted.

Trumpworld did not immediately forgive and forget.

Roger Stone, a longtime GOP agent, damn Cruz for ‘pimping,’ posted on the Telegram messaging app: ‘I understand why people feel instant dislike for Ted Cruz when they first meet him – they’re just buying time … BUSH from start to finish. “

The outcry began Wednesday morning during a post-January hearing. 6 security for Congress. Cruz, questioning the Capitol police chief, spoke of “this anniversary of a violent terrorist attack on the Capitol”.

It was hardly a revolutionary comment for Cruz. “The attack on the Capitol was a vile act of terrorism and a shocking attack on our democratic system,” he said hours after police chased out the remaining rioters, in a statement calling for prosecution for acts of violence and defending one’s own efforts. to quash Biden’s election.

The backlash only hit this week, however.

Cruz found himself pilloried by Trump supporters who hadn’t unleashed so much venom on him since the 2016 GOP convention when, rather than bending his knee to Trump after their bitter primary, he urged them to delegates to vote according to their conscience.

“This man is an insult to the word ‘conservative'” Sebastian Gorka, a former Trump national security aide, said on the right Newsmax point of sale. “I hope Texas tells him – and this man will never, ever get re-elected.”

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, accusing the senator of trying to recast to broaden his appeal, told reporters it wouldn’t work: “The establishment will never love you, Ted.”

Beside her on Capitol Hill on Jan.6 was another conspiratorial Republican, Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green, as they tried to play down the attack.

“It was very irresponsible of him to call them terrorists,” said Green, later elaborating on Newsmax. With language that “plays on the left,” she said, “Ted Cruz calls out the Americans, calls out the MAGA patriots, calls out the people who revolted on Capitol Hill and breached the Capitol – he calls them out. calls terrorists. … Shame on him. No one has been charged with terrorism.

Cruz sided with Trump ahead of the 2016 election and became a staunch ally, and in the weeks following the 2020 election, he promoted Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that the election was stolen.

In light of this, experts marveled at his perceived need to “crawl” to undo the damage caused by labeling an attack on Capitol Hill as an act of terrorism.

“As thousands of people stood up to defend this country on January 6, at that precise moment I stood on the Senate floor to oppose the election results, demanding that we impose on the Election Commission to review the evidence of voter fraud, and I brought together 11 senators join me in supporting the elimination of it all, ”said Cruz.

“So, of course, it would be ridiculous of me to say that people who stand up and protest to respect the law are sort of terrorists. I was talking about people who commit violence against cops.

Cruz led a group of 11 senators who opposed votes in a handful of states President Joe Biden won. He called for an investigation into alleged – and not yet proven – irregularities. This investigation reportedly delayed Biden’s assertion of victory, possibly until after opening day, two weeks later.

The effort to overturn millions of votes failed, and Congress eventually ratified the tally that states had certified, the last step in formalizing the election result.

More than 700 members of the January 6 Mafia have been charged with crimes such as trespassing, assault and interference in Congress. None have been charged with insurgency. (“It was not an insurrection. To say that it is an insurrection is a political term, it is a lie. I denounced it several times,” Cruz told Carlson.)

The FBI’s definition of domestic terrorism is consistent with the actions of the Mafia: “violent criminal acts committed by individuals and / or groups to advance ideological objectives arising from domestic influences, such as those of a political, religious, social nature , racial or environmental. “

Carlson was relentless.

With a chyron on the screen that said “What the hell was Ted Cruz thinking?” Carlson said, claiming that someone as intelligent as Cruz, whom Trump considered for the Supreme Court, is far too precise in his language to dismiss this comment as an occasional inaccuracy.

“You play in the characterization of the other side,” he said.

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