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Ted Cruz


Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is a far-right politician from Houston who was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012. Before entering politics, he completed law school at Harvard. He then went on to work as an advisor in the George W. Bush administration before “promoting himself and conservative causes” as the Texas solicitor general from 2003–08. 

As a junior senator, Cruz first gained notoriety after staging a 21-hour filibuster in 2012 to protest the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Although he denies his role, his filibuster, along with stalling by House Republicans, ultimately led to the government shutdown in 2013. 

In 2016, Cruz ran for president but lost the Republican primary to Trump. After repeatedly disparaging Trump on the campaign trail—calling him “nuts,” a “pathological liar,” and “utterly amoral,” among other apt descriptors—Cruz endorsed his rival for president. 

After the 2020 presidential election, Cruz followed Trump’s lead and adhered to the GOP playbook by casting doubt on the legitimacy of the process and making claims of fraud unfounded by facts. He objected to certifying the Electoral College results and voted against both impeaching Trump for inciting the mob, among other measures.

January 6, 2021

  • On Jan. 6, before Trump told the armed crowd at his rally to take the protest to the Capitol, Cruz urged fellow Republicans to vote against certifying the 2020 presidential election results. “I wanna speak to the Republicans that are considering voting against these objections,” Cruz said. “I understand your concerns, but I urge you to pause and think ‘what does it say to the nearly half the country that believes the election was rigged if we vote not even to consider the claims of illegality and fraud in this election?’” 
  • That same day, just hours after the violent attack on the Capitol disrupted the proceedings, Cruz joined 146 other congressional Republicans in voting to overturn the election results.
  • Cruz voted against impeaching Trump for his role in inciting the mob that disrupted congressional certification of the presidential election.
  • On Jan. 5, 2022, a year after the insurrection, Cruz described the event as “a violent terrorist attack”—but then quickly backtracked and the next day apologized on the Fox News show Tucker Carlson Tonight, calling the Jan. 6 rioters “patriots.” 

The Big Lie

  • After the 2020 election, Cruz repeatedly echoed Trump’s unfounded claim that the election had been stolen. For example, while votes were still being counted, he appeared on the Fox News show Hannity to sow doubt about the vote count in Pennsylvania. “What we’re seeing tonight, what we’ve been seeing the last three days is outrageous. It is partisan, it is political and it is lawless,” he said. “We’re seeing this pattern in Democratic city after Democratic city. But the worst in the country right now is Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where they’re not allowing the election observers in, despite clear state law that requires election observers being there.” (This claim was also untrue since pro-Trump “election observers” were in the room where Philadelphia ballots were counted.) 
  • In one of many similar tweets, Cruz wrote on Nov. 6, 2020 that Democrats were “breaking the law, ignoring court orders, counting ballots in secret & threatening to steal the presidency.”
  • When his claims about poll watchers being denied access were refuted on Nov. 6, 2020, Cruz alleged in a tweet that “someone 20 ft away—forced to use binoculars—is not an ‘observer’ under the law. Not if they can’t see what ballot counters are actually doing.”
  • On Nov. 8, 2020, Cruz appeared on the Fox News program Sunday Morning Futures, saying that the results of the election were unclear and “the media is desperately trying to get everyone to coronate Joe Biden as the next president.”
  • On Nov. 10, 2020, Cruz issued a press release with the headline: “THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA DOESN’T WANT TO LET PROCESS PLAY OUT.” In the statement, the senator highlighted two media appearances in which he voiced support for election challenges. One featured quotation from his appearance on the right-wing talk radio show with Hugh Hewitt  reads: “An awful lot of the media is trying to stop the process early and say, ‘Never mind what the courts say. Never mind what the law says. We want to declare Biden the winner now.’”
  • On Dec. 1, 2020, Cruz issued a statement urging the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a lawsuit challenging the results of the election in Pennsylvania. “Ordinarily, the U.S. Supreme Court would stay out of election disputes, especially concerning state law. But these are not ordinary times,” he wrote. “As of today, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling, 39% of Americans believe that ‘the election was rigged.’”
  • On Dec. 8, 2020, at Trump’s request, Cruz agreed to argue the Texas case to overturn the election if the Supreme Court agreed to consider it. 
  • At a campaign event in Georgia days before the Capitol attack, Cruz asked supporters, “Are they going to try to steal? Yes, but I’ll tell you what we’re going to do. We’re going to win by a big enough margin. Ain’t nobody stealing the state of Georgia.” 
  • After President Biden’s inauguration, Cruz continued to peddle the lie that the election had been stolen. He brought up the idea of fraud frequently to justify opposing the Voting Rights Act that Democrats were working to pass. For example, on Dec. 16, 2021, Cruz tweeted that “Democrats have decided that voter fraud is good for them politically.” Attached was a clip from his recent appearance on Fox’s Kudlow, where he argued in favor of voter identification laws that keep many eligible citizens from voting and adversely impact poor and minority voters in particular. 

Post-2020 election subversion

  • Cruz has made a variety of statements that continue to call into question the results of the 2020 election, has supported voting restriction laws enacted by Republican state legislatures around the country, and voted against the 2021 Freedom to Vote Act.

Election Audits

  • Before the 2020 election was certified on Jan. 6, 2021, Cruz called on Congress to appoint a special commission to audit the results.
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