Biden says Cruz, other Republicans responsible for ‘big lie’ that fueled Capitol mob

President-elect Joe Biden on Friday blamed Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) and other GOP lawmakers who led efforts to challenge election results ahead of Wednesday’s pro-Trump mob at the Capitol, with Biden drawing a parallel between the elected officials’ actions and a Nazi propaganda minister. 

“If he’s the only one saying it, that’s one thing,” Biden said of President Trump, who for weeks made disputed claims that the election was “stolen” from him. 

“But the acolytes that follow him, like Cruz and others, they are as responsible as he is,” Biden continued, according to The Washington Post

Biden did not join some other Democrats who have called for Cruz and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) to be removed from office for encouraging the claims that fueled Wednesday’s events, with the former vice president instead saying,  “I think they should be just flat beaten the next time they run.”

Biden then added, “I think the American public has a real good, clear look who they are … they’re part of the big lie.” 

“The big lie” refers to an idea espoused by Joseph Goebbels, one of Adolf Hitler’s closest advisers, who argued that if you continuously repeat a major lie to people, they will eventually start to believe it. 

Biden has previously compared Trump to the Nazi official, including in a September MSNBC interview in which Biden explained Trump was “sort of like Goebbels. You say the lie long enough, keep repeating it, repeating it, repeating it, it becomes common knowledge.” 

Biden also previously compared Trump to Goebbels when he called for the president’s impeachment in October 2019, according to the Post. 

Both Cruz and Hawley responded to Biden’s remarks Friday, with Hawley writing in a statement that the president-elect should “act like a dignified adult and retract these sick comments.” 

“This is undignified, immature, and intemperate behavior from the President-elect,” the Missouri senator added. “It is utterly shameful.” 

Cruz took to Twitter to respond to Biden’s comments, calling them “really sad.” 

“At a time of deep national division, President-elect Biden’s choice to call his political opponents literal Nazis does nothing to bring us together or promote healing,” Cruz wrote. “This kind of vicious partisan rhetoric only tears our country apart.” 

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), the incoming chairman of the powerful Finance Committee, and Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.), the No. 3-ranking Senate Democrat, have both called on Hawley and Cruz to resign for challenging the validity of Biden’s victory. 

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) has also called for both Cruz and Hawley to step down, and Texas Democrats and twin brothers Rep. Joaquin Castro and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro have also vocalized support for Cruz’s resignation.

Tags 2020 election Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Capitol breach Capitol riot Donald Trump election challenges Joaquin Castro Joe Biden Joseph Goebbels Josh Hawley Missouri Nazi propaganda Patty Murray Ron Wyden Ted Cruz Texas The Washington Post Twitter

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