Sen. Ted Cruz says President Trump was ’irresponsible,’ ’bears some responsibility’ in deadly US Capitol breach

Report: Texas Republican now claims he’s disagreed with Trump’s rhetoric in past 4 years

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., left, and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, right, speak after Republicans objected to certifying the Electoral College votes from Arizona, during a joint session of the House and Senate to confirm the electoral votes cast in November's election, at the Capitol, Wednesday, Jan 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) (Andrew Harnik, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

SAN ANTONIO – Amid calls for resignation and fierce blowback, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has made an about-face from his support for President Donald Trump following the deadly siege of the U.S. Capitol and his objection to President-elect Joe Biden’s win.

Cruz, a Republican who challenged the election results, said Trump “plainly bears some responsibility” in Wednesday’s violent rampage by his own supporters, resulting in five deaths and damage two weeks before Biden’s inauguration. The supporters, who were urged to march to Capitol Hill by Trump during a rally earlier Wednesday, attempted to overturn the election.

The Texas Republican now says that Trump’s “rhetoric and his language has been over the line.” He told NBCDFW on Thursday that Trump was acting irresponsibly.

“I think it was reckless and I think he needs to recognize it and he has said that he will recognize and participate in a peaceful transition of power, and I think that is what is going to happen,” he told the North Texas TV station. “I think that is what should happen.”

He added that the “criminals” are responsible for their actions on Wednesday, but the president’s words were “reckless” and “harmful.”

Since Wednesday, Texas Democrats including U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro and former San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro have called for Cruz’s resignation.

Joaquin Castro said Cruz “conducted himself shamelessly” and objected to Biden’s victory in order to “win the Republican nomination for president.”

Cruz has dismissed the calls for resignation, telling ABC 13 in Houston that Texas Democrats are taking advantage of the insurrection.

He also told that station that he has “disagreed with the president’s language and rhetoric for the last four years.”

Days earlier, Cruz told Republicans at a campaign rally in Georgia that “we won’t go quietly into the night,” according to the Texas Tribune. He was there to rally voters in Georgia’s runoff election to keep the Republican majority in the Senate.

Despite Wednesday’s events, Cruz was one of 16 Texans in Congress who still voted to object the electoral college count.

Shortly before Vice President Mike Pence certified the tally, Cruz released a statement saying his objection was “the right thing to do” based on the unfounded concerns over the election.

He also called on Americans to “come together and put this anger and division behind us.”

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Rebecca Salinas has worked in digital news for more than 10 years and joined KSAT in 2019. She reports on a variety of topics for KSAT 12 News.