Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz spoke with the Daily Caller’s Samantha Renck about Tuesday’s hearing on antifa, why he believes Democrats have continually failed to condemn antifa violence and more.
“Thousands of people across the country engaged in peaceful protest and the Constitution — the Bill of Rights — protects your right, it protects my right to speak. It protects our right to protest. It protects our right to peaceably assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. All of those are fundamental liberties protected by the First Amendment,” Cruz said. “What is not allowed, however, is violence. What is not allowed is rioting.”
Cruz continued, “those rights end when you physically assault another citizen. They end when you firebomb a police car. They end when you loot and rob and destroy a small business. They end when you murder a police officer.”
“In the last six months, in Portland alone, there have been 277 officer injuries,” Cruz said. Typically, early evenings would be met peaceful protests, “where people stand and speak and wave signs. But then late at night, the rioters replace the protesters and the rioters arrive with weapons.”
Cruz emphasized that “these riots are not spontaneous. These riots are not simply one actor deciding to engage in an act of violence. Rather, the rioters are showing up with extensive preparation, bringing weapons with them with extensive planning. There’re numerous organizations that are involved in this — the most notable of which is antifa, which is explicitly a violent terrorist organization.”
During the hearing Tuesday, Cruz gave Democratic Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono the opportunity to criticize antifa.
“In the course of the hearing, a total of seven Democratic senators participated in the hearing,” Cruz said. “Not a single one of those Democratic senators criticized antifa in any way. They were unwilling to say even a negative word about antifa. I think they look at antifa and they believe those are their base, that those are their supporters and they don’t want to upset them.”
Cruz also discussed his recently-introduced legislation, “The Reclaim Act,” what should be done to protect law enforcement officers and more. (RELATED: Here’s What You Missed From The Congressional Antifa Hearing)
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