Ted Cruz criticized by conservatives for calling Jan. 6 a “violent terrorist attack”

Ted Cruz criticized by conservatives for calling Jan. 6 a “violent terrorist attack”

Isabel Webb Carey
Isabel Webb Carey
January 7, 2022

After his acknowledgement of the “solemn anniversary” of a “violent terrorist attack” that took place last year at the U.S. Capitol, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz faced significant backlash from TV pundits and fellow conservatives. 

Among them, conservative news host Tucker Carlson accused Cruz of echoing Democratic talking points at Wednesday’s Senate committee hearing with the U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger to review how similar threats could be handled differently in the future.

“Of all the things that Jan. 6 was, it was definitely not a violent terrorist attack,” Carlson said Wednesday night. “It wasn’t an insurrection. Was it a riot? Sure. It was not a violent terrorist attack — sorry!” 

Deputy assistant to former President Donald Trump Sebastian Gorka echoed Carlson’s derision and stated on Twitter, “I’m so done with Ted Cruz.”

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Democrats, on the other hand, welcomed Cruz’s remarks, even as they called it hypocritical for him to seek the moral high ground after voting against certifying the 2020 election results that cemented Joe Biden’s defeat of Trump.

Immediately after Cruz spoke, Sen. Alex Padilla, a Democrat from California, said that he appreciated Cruz’s recognition of the attack, which he called a deadly assault on the U.S. political process.

Cruz later spoke out on FOX News program and went back on his denunciation of the violence. Describing his words as “sloppy” and “frankly dumb,” the Texas Senator insisted that he was only referring to the rioters who attacked police. 

“Yesterday, I used a dumb choice of words and unfortunately a lot of people are misunderstanding what I meant. I was NOT calling the thousands of peaceful protestors on Jan 6 terrorists. I would never do so; I have repeatedly, explicitly said the OPPOSITE—denouncing the Democrats’ shameful efforts to do so & to try to paint every Trump voter in America as ‘terrorists’ & ‘insurrectionists’,” Cruz said Thursday.
He went on to state: “For a decade, I have referred to people who violently assault police officers as terrorists. I’ve done so over and over and over again. The snippet from yesterday didn’t include my passionate & repeated defense of the patriots and peaceful protestors supporting President Trump. I’m sorry that that 20-second clip led so many to misunderstand what I was saying.”

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Isabel Webb Carey

Isabel Webb Carey

Isabel Webb Carey attends the University of Texas at Austin in the Plan II Honors Program with a certificate in Core Texts and Ideas. Her interests include education, local governance, sustainability, and equity. Isabel enjoys dancing, hiking, and live music. She is also a staff writer for the Texas Orator. Email her at [email protected]
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