‘Whoa, whoa, whoa — I don’t buy that!’ Ted Cruz faces wrath of Tucker as he calls him a liar to his face

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If nothing else, Sen. Ted Cruz deserves credit for being willing to face the fire after appearing on Fox News’ ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight” one day after saying in a Senate committee hearing that the nation was approaching a “solemn 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.”

In a sometimes contentious interview, Fox News host Tucker Carlson held Cruz to account for what he deemed to be “a lie,” that the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, was a terrorist attack, and he did so right out of the gate, not allowing Cruz to weasel out of taking responsibility for what he said by serving up a word salad — at the same time, the familiarity between the two was obvious from the beginning, as the Texas Republican explained that he texted Carlson after he referenced his remarks on Wednesday’s show.

“There are a lot of dumb people in Congress. You’re not one of them,” Carlson said to open Thursday’s interview. “I think you’re smarter than I am, and you never use words carelessly. And yet you called this a terror attack when by no definition was it a terror attack. That’s a lie. You told that lie on purpose, and I’m wondering why you did.”

Cruz explained that he wanted to appear on the show because “the way I phrase things yesterday, it was sloppy and frankly dumb –”

Carlson cut him off immediately, telling Cruz, “Whoa, whoa, whoa — I don’t buy that! I’ve known you a long time since before you went to the Senate. You were a Supreme Court contender. You take words as seriously as any man who’s ever served in the Senate … I do not believe that you used that accidentally. I just don’t.”

The senator carefully explained that in the name of consistency, he was referring specifically to the attacks on police officers, telling Carlson that he called attacks on law enforcement from Black Lines Matter activists and Antifa terrorist attacks.

“As a result of my sloppy phrasing, it’s caused a lot of people to misunderstand what I meant. Let me tell you what I meant to say,” Cruz said. “What I was referring to was the limited number of people who engaged in violent attacks against police officers … and the reason the phrasing was sloppy is I have talked dozens if not hundreds of times. I’ve drawn a distinction. “I wasn’t saying that thousands of peaceful protesters supporting Donald Trump are somehow terrorists. I wasn’t saying the millions of patriots across the country supporting President Trump are terrorists, and that’s what a lot of people have misunderstood.”

Again, Carlson called foul, explaining that even if a person did attack a cop, that doesn’t make them a terrorist

“How many people of been charged with terrorism on January 6th? Why did you use that word?” the Fox News host interjected. “You’re playing into the other side’s characterization, that allows them to define an entire population as foreign combatants. And you know that, so why did you do that?”

Cruz again stated that consistency was his motivation, before finally succumbing to the pressure to call his remarks “a mistake.”

“That being said, Tucker, I agree with you, it was a mistake to say that yesterday and the reason is what you just said. Which is we have now had a year of Democrats and the media twisting words and trying to say that all of us are terrorists. Trying to say you are a terrorist, I am a terrorist.”

Again, Carlson objected, telling Cruz straight out, “I guess I just don’t believe you. And I mean that with respect, because I have such respect for your acuity and your precision. And I’ve seen it on display, I’ve covered you as a reporter, I know how you speak. And you have sat there for a year and watch people use language to distort the events of that day intentionally — ‘insurrection, coup, terrorism!'”

“Of course it was an insurrection – saying it was an insurrection is a political term, it’s a lie. I have repeatedly denounced it,” Cruz relented.

He also reminded Carlson and his viewers that as protesters were outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, he was “standing on the Senate floor objecting to the election results, demanding that we impanel an election commission to consider evidence of voter fraud and I brought together 11 senators to join me in supporting getting to the bottom of that.”

“So, of course, it would be ridiculous for me to be saying that the people standing up protesting to follow the law are somehow terrorists. I was talking about people who commit violence against cops.”

Carlson argued that there’s a legal difference and moral difference at play in such a scenario, prompting Cruz again to acknowledge that he made a mistake in using the word.

“I’ve used that word for people that violently assault cops,” Cruz concluded. “I used that word all in 2020 for the Antifa and BLM terrorists that assaulted cops and firebombed police cars, but I agree it was a mistake to use the word yesterday, because the Democrats and the corporate media have so politicized it. They’re trying to paint everyone as a terrorist, and it’s a lie … They want to paint us as Nazis, that’s what they are trying to do. Look, I’m the one leading the fight in the Senate against this garbage.”

While there was an online parade to dance on Cruz’s supposed political grave after the interview, both from the right and the left, talk radio show host Jesse Kelly summed things up well for conservatives in a tweet explaining that he is one of a precious few “good senators” when it comes to advancing their agenda:


Tom Tillison


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