Ted Cruz and John Cornyn have very different reactions to the RNC’s Jan. 6 committee censure resolution

Ted Cruz and John Cornyn have very different reactions to the RNC’s Jan. 6 committee censure resolution

On Friday, February 4, the Republican National Committee passed a resolution to censure Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, both conservative Republicans, for their participation in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s select committee on the January 6, 2021 insurrection. And in Texas, two right-wing GOP senators, Sen. John Cornyn and Sen. Ted Cruz, have had very different responses to that resolution.

The RNC’s resolution characterized Cheney and Kinzinger as attacking “legitimate political discourse,” and Cornyn (who was reelected in 2020) criticized the RNC’s messaging as problematic.

Dallas Morning News reporter John J. Gillman quotes Cornyn as saying that on January 6, 2021, “People saw what they saw with their own eyes. Being accurate is really important, particularly when you are talking about something that sensitive, and I think it was just not an accurate description.”

That day, an insurrectionist mob of Donald Trump supporters violently attacked the U.S. Capitol Building in the hope of stopping Congress from certifying now-President Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory in the 2020 presidential election. Many Republicans have tried to whitewash the violence that occurred that day, including the RNC. But Cheney and Kinzinger, both of whom voted to impeach Trump in January 2021, have slammed the Capitol siege as an insurrection and joined Pelosi in demanding accountability.

Cruz, in contrast to Cornyn’s comments, had no problem with the RNC’s censure resolution and told reporters, “There were tens of thousands of people engaged in peaceful free speech that the press and Democrats try to demonize falsely. Violence is wrong, and those who engage in violence should be prosecuted. But peaceful free speech is protected by the First Amendment.”

Democrats have been vehemently critical of the RNC’s resolution to censure Cheney and Kinzinger, arguing that the RNC — including Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel — is now equating violence with “legitimate political discourse.”

Rep. Colin Allred, a Texas Democrat in the Dallas area, tweeted, “The extremists have gone off the rails and chosen to endorse violence as ‘legitimate political discourse.’”

McDaniel’s uncle, Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, praised Cheney and Kinzinger while slamming the RNC’s censure resolution. And another non-MAGA Republican, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, described the resolution as a “sad day for my party.”

Commenting on the resolution, Rep. Cheney — the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney — told CNN, “If the price of being willing to tell the truth and get to the bottom of what happened on January 6, and make sure that those who are responsible are held accountable is a censure, then I am absolutely going to continue to stand up for what I knew was right. And I think that it is a sad day for the party of Lincoln that that's where we are.”

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