WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen Ted Cruz, who challenged the vote to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, is calling on Americans to “come together and put this anger and division behind us.”
The Texas Republican released the statement early Thursday as Congress convened to confirm Biden, a Democrat, as the presidential election winner following a violent siege of the U.S. Capitol by a mob loyal to President Donald Trump. The supporters attempted to overturn the election and keep Trump in the White House.
On Wednesday, Cruz and Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz, led a dispute to certify electoral votes from Arizona, punctuating Trump’s baseless claims of widespread election fraud.
Earlier in the day, Cruz told Fox News, “we have an obligation, I believe, to protect the integrity of the election and to protect the integrity of the democratic system,” despite all states certifying their results as fair and accurate.
Following the chaos, lawmakers reconvened and completed the Electoral College tally before dawn Thursday. Vice President Mike Pence, presiding over the joint session, announced the tally, 306-232.
Cruz released a statement just before 2 a.m., saying the “attack at the Capitol was a despicable act of terrorism and a shocking assault on our democratic system,” while also calling for an electoral commission.
Read the full statement below:
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.
“We will defend liberty,” he said.
Since Wednesday’s riot, Cruz faced calls for resignation by Texas Democrats U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro and his brother, former San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo also showed disapproval of Cruz, who is from Houston.
Amazing, you fanned the flames with your disingenuous rhetoric. Don’t forget your thoughts and prayers.— Chief Art Acevedo (@ArtAcevedo) January 6, 2021
DC: where is the law and order with these protesters? And what about the US Constitution? It doesn’t mean anything to these protesters? And Texans should hold Sen. Ted Cruz accountable for this fiasco. st— Sylvester Turner (@SylvesterTurner) January 6, 2021
Trump, who had repeatedly refused to concede the election, said in a statement immediately after the vote that there will be a smooth transition of power on Inauguration Day.
“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,” Trump said in a statement posted to Twitter by an aide.
WATCH: Congress certifies Biden’s electoral college win