Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz criticized Democrats on a Senate subcommittee he chairs for failing to criticize antifa during an hours-long hearing on the topic.
Cruz’s Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution discussed the role antifa and other left-wing groups play in fostering ongoing riots in cities like Portland during Tuesday’s hearing.
“We are seeing too many local officials, mayors and governors, who’ve made a cynical decision that it is in their partisan interest to turn a blind eye to this violence,” Cruz said during the hearing, according to a clip played by Fox News host Sean Hannity before introducing the Texas senator. “I would also note that the ranking member said nobody is condoning the violence and rioting, and yet nowhere in the opening remarks was even one word condemning it.”
Appearing on Tuesday night’s edition of “Hannity,” Cruz accused Democrats of not only failing to stop the riots, but of “facilitating” them as well.
“What’s happening, unfortunately, is not free speech, and those who are peaceably protesting are seeing their protests hijacked by violent anarchists, by Marxists who are engaged in acts of terror,” Cruz said. “At the end of the day, none of this is complicated. Don’t assault your fellow citizens. Don’t firebomb a police car, don’t loot and destroy small businesses, don’t murder police officers.”
“What is striking, in about four hours of hearing today in the Senate Constitution subcommittee that I chair, seven Democrats spoke and questioned the witnesses,” he continued. “Not a single one dared to criticize antifa in any way because they are making a cynical decision that they want to encourage these radical leftists who are assaulting and threatening American citizens. It’s really unfortunate.”
After Hannity played clips, some of which were recorded by Daily Caller reporter Shelby Talcott, of ongoing violence in Portland, Cruz referred to the “hateful rhetoric of the Democratic side” in arguing that Democrats have “unleashed the crazies in their party.” (RELATED: ‘You’re Welcome To Say Something Negative About Antifa Right Now’: Ted Cruz Spars With Mazie Hirono At Senate Hearing)
“Most of the party is really held captive to the extreme, angry voices, whether it’s antifa, whether it is AOC or Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren, and you see them denying reality.”
Cruz and Hannity continued to discuss specific examples of violence against police, including the use of lasers to attempt to burn the eyes of officers.