By Matthew Choi, The Texas Tribune
“On “The View,” Ted Cruz refuses to acknowledge that President Joe Biden was legitimately elected” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.
Sign up for The Brief, our daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news.
Nearly two years after former President Donald Trump’s supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol and delayed certification of the 2020 election, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz still won’t say President Joe Biden was legitimately elected.
During a confrontational appearance Monday on “The View,” the Texas Republican was grilled about his continued support for Trump, his onetime opponent for the Republican nomination to be president. Alyssa Farah Griffin, a former communications director in Trump’s White House who has since become fiercely critical of the former president, pressed Cruz on whether he believed Biden had legitimately won the 2020 election. But Cruz redirected, instead focusing on Democrats who had previously bemoaned their own electoral losses.
“Biden is the president today,” Cruz said. “There are a lot of folks in the media that try to, anytime a Republican is in front of a TV camera, try to say the election was fair and square and legitimate. You know who y’all don’t do that to? You don’t do it to Hillary Clinton.”
“So it’s illegitimate when Republicans win but not when Democrats win?” Cruz added.
Cruz alluded to when Clinton said George W. Bush had been “selected not elected” after the Supreme Court effectively settled 2000 presidential election and Clinton’s criticism of the Electoral College for costing her the White House although she won the popular vote in 2016.
Ana Navarro, a former Republican strategist who co-hosts the show, retorted that Clinton had conceded the election to Trump in 2016. Whoopi Goldberg, another co-host, pushed back on drawing comparisons to the rioters who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, saying, “We may not like when Republicans win, but we don’t go and we don’t storm.”
There has been no evidence of widespread electoral fraud in the 2020 election, and Congress certified the election results on a bipartisan basis.
Cruz was one of the senators leading efforts to challenge the 2020 election results on Jan. 6, 2021. He filed to contest the electoral results from Arizona just before rioters breached the Capitol. He still voted against certifying the state’s election results once lawmakers reconvened after the attack.
Cruz has since continued to defend his actions that day, saying he’d called for a 10-day emergency audit on the election results that would have wrapped up before Inauguration Day. He also broke from the rest of his party on the Senate Rules Committee last month and voted against advancing a bill that would elevate the threshold for lawmakers to contest presidential elections.
During his appearance on “The View,” Cruz also defended his support for Trump after the then-GOP frontrunner mocked Cruz’s wife and father during the 2016 Republican primaries. Cruz called Trump’s language “idiotic” and said his wife and father laughed it off.
“We had a primary where Donald Trump and I beat the living crap out of each other,” Cruz said. “I could have decided my feelings are hurt, I’m going to take the ball and go home and not do my job. But … we have an opportunity to make a difference for this country.”
The TV appearance also included drama from the audience when a group of climate activists began chanting about the need to address climate change. The hosts became visibly irritated and told the protesters to let them do their jobs before the show cut to a commercial break to clear the protesters out.
“I’m really glad you don’t have a Van Gogh on the wall,” Cruz said.
This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2022/10/24/ted-cruz-2020-election-january-6/.
The Texas Tribune is a member-supported, nonpartisan newsroom informing and engaging Texans on state politics and policy. Learn more at texastribune.org.