President-elect Joe Biden said Friday that Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Josh Hawley, R-Mo., should be “flat beaten” in their next elections for their part in spreading “the big lie,” a term the senators said was an effort to cast them as Nazis.
“I think they should just be flat beaten the next time they run,” Biden said in remarks Friday, when asked if the pair of senators should resign. Other Democrats have called on Cruz to give up his seat.
Biden said Republicans such as Cruz and Hawley made up a minority of the party.
“The American public has a real good clear look at who they are,” Biden said. “They’re part of the big lie, the big lie.”
“The Big Lie” was a term coined in Nazi Germany. “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it,” Joseph Goebbels, Reich minister of propaganda of Nazi Germany, once said.
“Really sad,” Cruz wrote on Twitter of Biden’s remarks. “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.”
“This kind of vicious partisan rhetoric only tears our country apart,” he continued.
Joe Biden used “vicious partisan rhetoric,” Ted Cruz alleged Friday.
Hawley fired back with his own statement.
“President-elect Biden has just compared me and another Republican Senator to Nazis. You read that correctly. Think about that for a moment. Let it sink in. Because I raised questions in the format prescribed by the laws of the United States about the way elections were conducted in the state of Pennsylvania, just as Democrats did about other states in 2001, 2005, and 2017, he is calling me a Nazi,” Hawley stated.
The first-term senator further called the presdient-elect’s comments “undignified, immature, and intemperate behavior.”
Hawley then offered Biden some advice. “He should act like a dignified adult and retract these sick comments. And every Democrat member of Congress should be asked to disavow these disgusting comments.”
Cruz and Hawley led efforts in the upper chamber to contest some states’ electoral college results for Biden. Cruz called for an emergency 10-day audit of voter fraud allegations, though such cases had been settled in federal court. Both continued their call to reject the certification of the results even after a pro-Trump riot that sent lawmakers into hiding and left five dead caused others to withdraw their disputes.
The president-elect said the pair of senators were “as responsible” as the president for peddling debunked election fraud claims.
“If he’s [Trump] the only one saying it, it’s one thing, but the acolytes that follow him, like Cruz and others, they are as responsible as he is,” Biden continued. “And so it’s not about whether or not they get impeached. It’s about whether or not they continue to hold power because of the disgust the American people have for their actions. There are decent people out there who actually believe these lies.”
Still, the long-time Democrat praised other Republican lawmakers for breaking with Trump on election fraud claims.
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“I was so proud,” Biden said of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. “What he said on the floor of the United States Senate was in fact the right thing to do.” McConnell urged his GOP colleagues not to object to the vote to certify the electoral college results, saying to do so would “damage our republic forever.”
Biden said he had “enormous respect” for Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, whom he ran against in 2012 when Romney was the GOP presidential nominee and Biden was seeking reelecdtion as vice president with President Obama. He said Romney had “enormous integrity” for standing up to the president and his election fraud claims.
“There are many more, but there’s others who should be ashamed of themselves. But they make up a minority of the Republican Party,” Biden continued.
“We need a Republican Party,” Biden said, “I think you’re going to see them going through this idea of what constitutes the Republican Party.”
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