Ted Cruz took to Twitter on Friday to to accuse Joe Biden of pointing out “weakness and surrender to Putin” for Ukraine, but the Texas senator could not escape a crisis of his own, fueled by widespread accusations of weakness and surrender. in the face of Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson for comments on the deadly attack on Capitol Hill.
On Wednesday, the day before the first anniversary of the attack by Donald Trump supporters trying to reverse the elections, Cruz described “a violent terrorist attack on Capitol Hill, where we saw men and women of law enforcement agencies demonstrate incredible courage.”
A police officer who confronted the rioters was one of five people who died.
However, having fanned the shame in circles where the riot is downplayed or denied, Cruz went to Carlson’s primetime show.
Carlson, widely convicted of promoting conspiracy theories around January 6, is rumored have presidential ambitions in competition with Cruz. He went fiercely on the offensive.
“You called this a ‘terrorist attack’ when it was in no way a terrorist attack,” Carlson said. “That’s a lie. You told that lie on purpose, and I wonder why you did it.”
Cruz said, “The way I put things yesterday was sloppy and, frankly, silly.”
Carlson said: “I don’t believe it. Wait wait wait. I don’t think so … I don’t think you used it accidentally. I just don’t. “
For Cruz, the interview got worse from there. The commenters duly stacked.
From the left, Jim Newell, on blackboard, said Cruz had been “humbling himself for forgiveness” but that “all Carlson would do is insist that he beg louder.”
“This was Ted Cruz in max damage control mode. He would only suffer this kind of demotion if he felt he made a mistake serious enough to threaten his political career and cripple his chances in the Republican presidential primaries.
“It is a cross [we have] Seen only one other time: the day after his speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention, when he refused to endorse Donald Trump. After that, it took him months to regain his position among the Republican base.
“Here, he is perceiving the same level of political threat from the rank and file for simply saying that the riot on January 6 was a ‘violent terrorist attack.’
Whether or not Trump runs again, Newell wrote, “this will be the policy of the 2024 Republican presidential primaries … the convictions of what happened on Capitol Hill on January 6 will be taboo.”
Cruz also received blows right. Republican operative and Trump ally Roger Stone called him “a complacent, womanizing asshole.” Ali Alexander, an operative in attempts to reverse the elections, called Cruz “a fool and a liar.”
The successes also came from the theoretical center, from the factcheckers in particular.
On air, Carlson ridiculed the idea.
“Of all the things that January 6 was,” he said, “it was definitely not a violent terrorist attack. It was not an insurrection. Was it a riot? Sure. It was not a violent terrorist attack. Sorry.”
Many disagree. As the New York Times reported, “Congress has enacted a statute which defines domestic terrorism as crimes that are dangerous to human life, lack a foreign nexus, and appear to be seeking to ‘influence a government’s policy through intimidation or coercion.’
Mary McCord, a senior national security official in the Obama and Trump administrations, told the newspaper that some of the events on January 6 were, therefore, “acts of domestic terrorism, and that is accurate regardless of whether it applies to each individual”.
Cruz seems to agree, writing on Twitter: “I was just talking about the limited number of people who committed violent attacks against police officers. For more than a decade, I have referred to those who violently attack police officers as terrorists. If he attacks a policeman, he must go to jail. “
But he also continued to apologize to Fox News viewers who might “misinterpret what he was saying.”
Amid the furor, some also chose to consider Carlson’s past statements.
In the Washington Post, columnist Greg Sargent noted: “Carlson himself has applied the T-label to … leftists, [calling] Black Lives Matter … a ‘terrorist organization’ “.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism