Following the turmoil in the DC Capitol this afternoon, Texas Republicans took to Twitter to condemn the violence and plead for peace.
On Wednesday afternoon, armed supporters of President Trump stormed the Capitol building and forced a lockdown, interrupting the Electoral College certification of Trump’s re-election defeat. Texas members of the GOP were quick to condemn the capitol hill chaos and disassociate themselves and the party with the actions of the mob.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R), who spearheaded a dozen GOP senators objecting to the certification of Joe Biden’s win, has received heavy criticism for his role in the Electoral College chaos. Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D) accused Cruz of “sedition that has helped to inspire these terrorists and their attempted coup.”
Cruz was quick to respond to the accusations and condemned the violence on Twitter: “Those storming the Capitol need to stop NOW. The Constitution protects peaceful protest, but violence—from Left or Right— is ALWAYS wrong. And those engaged in violence are hurting the cause they say they support.”
Having resisted objecting to the Electoral College certification, Rep. Chip Roy’s (R) reaction to the violence was particularly aggressive. “To those storming the Capitol — I am on the House floor and I will not be deterred from upholding my oath, under God, to the Constitution by mob demand,” he tweeted. He later called for criminal action against members of the mob who breached the Capitol.
Roy was also among Republicans who publicly encouraged Trump to call off the violence of his supporters. “Mr. President, get to a microphone immediately and establish calm and order. Now. And work with Capitol Police to secure the Capitol. It’s the last thing you’ll do that matters as President,” tweeted Roy. The Republican calls for the President to act were mirrored by President-elect Joe Biden’s request that Trump publicly “demand an end to this siege.”
Other Republicans who spoke out against the violence included Attorney General Ken Paxton, who had previously led an unsuccessful lawsuit challenging the presidential election results in four battleground states. He spoke out against the violence, but later attempted to disassociate his party from the violence, tweeting “These are not Trump supporters.”
Gov. Greg Abbott (R) also spoke out and demanded that the “violence and mayhem must stop.”
A statement made by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R), Trump’s top supporter in Texas, linked disturbances in Washington to the summer protests against police brutality following the death of George Floyd.
“Those who burned down our cities last year and those who stormed the U.S. Capitol today do not represent the people of this country,” Patrick said. “We can disagree loudly and protest peacefully but the behavior we’ve seen today and in the last year can never be acceptable to any American.”
In their statement, the Republican Party of Texas defended its position in defense of free-speech, but tweeted that “we do condemn violence and pray for all in our nation’s capital.” The state party was also quick to dismiss sergeant at arms Walter West and clarify that it “in no way endorses” his statement. West’s Wednesday Facebook posts encouraged the people who were storming the Capitol. He wrote: “You Accepted ANTIFA burning down your cities… Now Deal with them taking back OUR HOUSE!”
Former Rep. Will Hurd’s reaction to the violence was particularly condemning. He tweeted: “This is an attack on our democracy and domestic terrorism to try to stop certifying elections. This should be treated as a coup led by a president that will not be peacefully removed from power.”
Texas Republican Reps. Jodey Arrington, Kevin Brady, Dan Crenshaw, Louie Gohmert, Michael McCaul, Troy Nehls, Dade Phelan, August Pfluger, Pete Sessions, Beth Van Duyne and Ron Wright joined their colleagues in denouncing the D.C. protesters and calling for peace.