Cruz Faces Right-Wing Backlash After Calling Jan. 6 A ‘Violent Terrorist Attack’

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 15: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) participates in a Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing on oversight of the airline industry, in the Russell Senate Office Building on Capit... WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 15: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) participates in a Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing on oversight of the airline industry, in the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on December 15, 2021 in Washington, DC. The air transportation executives testified about the current state of the U.S. airline industry during the oversight hearing. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) MORE LESS

The GOP’s right flank grew enraged at one of their own Wednesday, lashing out at Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) after the senator referred to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack as a “violent terrorist attack.” 

“We are approaching a solemn anniversary this week,” Cruz said during a committee hearing Wednesday. “And it is an anniversary of a violent terrorist attack on the Capitol, where we saw the men and women of law enforcement demonstrate incredible courage, incredible bravery, risk their lives for the Capitol.”

That was simply too much for the right to bear. 

Tucker Carlson said Cruz was among those “repeating the talking points that Merrick Garland has written for them.” 

“It was not a violent terrorist attack, sorry!” Carlson commented after showing a clip of Cruz. “So why are you telling us it was, Ted Cruz?”

He added: “You’re making us think, maybe the Republican Party is as worthless as we suspected it was.” 

Carlson’s was the most prominent of a wave of attacks on Cruz. 

“I’m so done with Ted Cruz,” one-time White House staffer Sebastian Gorka said. “What are the odds he’s the senator who told President Trump not to speak tomorrow?” 

On Steve Bannon’s “War Room” podcast, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) said she was “shocked” to hear that description from Cruz, and that “I’m sure it’s upsetting to a lot of Americans.”

“Ted Cruz followed Lindsey Graham and showed his true colors today,” the conservative commentator John Cardillo wrote. (Graham on Wednesday acknowledged telling Donald Trump, who subsequently canceled a planned Jan. 6 press conference, “there could be peril in doing a news conference.”)

The right-wing writer Julie Kelly, who was also on Bannon’s show, called Cruz’s comment “shameful,” noting that the senator also praised Capitol Police — “you know, the cop who executed a female veteran? Doesn’t mention her name.” 

Bannon, in his interview with Greene and Kelly, mocked Cruz’s supposed constitutional expertise: “Maybe you ought to learn it instead of just repeating it.” 

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