Ted Cruz sharply criticized those protesting the election of Donald Trump as hypocrites who cried foul when Trump suggested he might not accept the results if he didn’t win.
“This is hypocrisy on rank display,” the Texas senator said in an interview on “Fox & Friends” on Thursday morning. “All of the folks who jumped on their high horse and were lecturing to President-elect Trump, ‘You’ve got to accept the results of the election’ — look, these are now the idiots protesting in the street, laying their bodies down in front of cars and disrupting traffic.”
“We had an election,” Cruz continued. “The people spoke. Democracy is a powerful, powerful way of choosing. And I think Americans across this country — this is across the line of Republicans, of Democrats, of independents, of libertarians — I think Americans are excited about the opportunity to have an administration that actually protects our rights.”
Since Trump’s stunning victory over Hillary Clinton in last week’s presidential election, anti-Trump protests have erupted in cities around the country, some turning violent. In Portland, Ore., on Saturday night, 71 people were arrested after a protest devolved into a riot, police said.
Cruz, whose name has been floated as a potential member of Trump’s administration, met with Trump at Trump Tower in New York City on Tuesday.
“I’m eager to work with the new president in any capacity I can,” Cruz said.
— FOX & Friends (@foxandfriends) November 17, 2016
He wasn’t always so eager.
During the Republican primary, Trump frequently referred to Cruz as “Lyin’ Ted,” insulted his wife and suggested that Cruz’s father was involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. On the eve of the Indiana primary, Cruz unloaded on Trump, calling him a “bully,” a “narcissist,” a “pathological liar” and a “serial philanderer,” among other things. At the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Cruz was booed when he gave a speech while declining to endorse his party’s nominee.
Cruz’s endorsement of Trump didn’t come until September — and it wasn’t exactly full-throated.
“I’ve made the decision that on Election Day I’m going to vote for the Republican nominee,” Cruz said at a GOP phone-banking event in Fort Worth, Texas. “Like a whole lot of voters here in Texas and across the country, this was not an easy decision for me to arrive on.”
Cruz insisted his endorsement had more to do with his commitment to the party, and his opposition to Hillary Clinton, than his support for Trump. He noted that he signed a pledge to support the nominee.
“A year ago, I stood onstage and promised to support the Republican nominee, whoever that was, and I am honoring my word,” Cruz explained in September. “Although I have long had significant concerns with Donald, by any measure, Hillary Clinton would be an absolute disaster as president.”
But on Thursday, the tea party firebrand sounded more like a Trump surrogate, dismissing reports of transition chaos as “complete silliness.”
“Nobody should be surprised that their are media critics trying to throw rocks at the president-elect and the transition team — they don’t want the president to succeed,” Cruz said. “What I saw from the president-elect on down to every person at the transition team was men and women working hard with an enormous task in front of them of putting together a new administration of hopefully talented principals, effective leaders — leaders who will be loyal to the president, and loyal to the agenda that he campaigned on and that we promised the American people.”
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