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.
The leaders of the Republican Party have made themselves willing hostages to a man who admits he tried to overturn a presidential election and suggests he would pardon Jan. 6 defendants, some of whom have been charged with seditious conspiracy. (1/2)— Liz Cheney (@Liz Cheney) 1643938091
My statement on the RNC censure. I am now even more committed to fighting conspiracies and lies:pic.twitter.com/NzKK2s2kkC— Adam Kinzinger (@Adam Kinzinger) 1643941871
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.”
This is just a shame. The extremists have gone off the rails and chosen to endorse violence as \u2018legitimate political discourse.\u2019 \n\nAmericans deserve to know what happened on January 6th and I commend @Liz_Cheney for sticking to her principles.https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/04/us/politics/republicans-jan-6-cheney-censure.html\u00a0\u2026— Colin Allred (@Colin Allred) 1644194711
Shame falls on a party that would censure persons of conscience, who seek truth in the face of vitriol. Honor attaches to Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger for seeking truth even when doing so comes at great personal cost.— Mitt Romney (@Mitt Romney) 1643986002
The GOP I believe in is the party of freedom and truth. \n\nIt\u2019s a sad day for my party\u2014and the country\u2014when you\u2019re punished just for expressing your beliefs, standing on principle, and refusing to tell blatant lies.— Larry Hogan (@Larry Hogan) 1643995234
The RNC is censuring Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger because they are trying to find out what happened on January 6th - HUH?— U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (@U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D.) 1643947235
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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