WASHINGTON — Heckled on live television, Sen. Ted Cruz argued Monday with ABC hosts Viewwho accused him of undermining democracy by trying to keep Donald Trump in power when he lost the 2020 election.
At one point, a climate protester who had won a ticket shouted the F-bomb at Cruz, though viewers didn’t hear it because the network muted the sound.
“I’ve been very vocal and very critical of you. I’m sorry this happened in our house,” co-host Ana Navarre Cruz said after an abrupt commercial break, though she and other co-hosts quickly picked up a pile on, questioning her character and judgment for allying with Trump and trying to overturn the election .
“We may not like it when Republicans win, but…we don’t storm [the Capitol]. We’re not trying to change the outcome of an election, co-host Whoopi Goldberg told him in a testy exchange.
Cruz compared the “antifa” protests against police brutality to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on Congress, when a mob encouraged by Trump halted voter certification. Cruz led a group of senators who challenged the state-certified results from Pennsylvania and Arizona that day.
When Cruz recalled that Hillary Clinton questioned the 2000 election because the Supreme Court interfered, Navarro countered by recalling how Clinton handled her own defeat in 2016: “She called Donald Trump the next morning and she conceded the election, Ted.
Cruz’s appearance was part of a tour to promote his latest book, Corrupt justice: how the left has armed our justice system, which will be released on tuesday.
Goldberg held up a copy and announced that everyone in the studio would get one.
The co-hosts gave Cruz leeway to come up with talking points.
He predicted a GOP “tidal wave” in the upcoming midterm elections. He denounced President Joe Biden’s handling of border security and the economy. He called the Jan. 6 House committee a “kangaroo circus” and called it ridiculous that anyone who thinks Trump will agree to testify.
And he capitalized on her appearance by touting her on social media before and after it aired, using her to peddle his book.
However, the co-hosts were eager to engage in more heated conversation.
“I would say your responsibility was to a constitutional democracy, not to Donald Trump,” Navarro said at one point, after airing a clip from 2016, when Cruz called Trump a “pathological liar” for linking his father to the assassination of JFK.
“It’s a very different Ted Cruz that we see,” Navarro said. “Were you lying then or are you lying now?”
Cruz gave much the same explanation as during his 2018 Senate campaign.
“We had a primary and Donald Trump and I fought to the death. … Why did I choose to work with him even though I was upset by what he was saying? Because I had a job to do and I had a responsibility” to 30 million Texans, he said.
Whoopi: “And it was.”
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) October 24, 2022
Co-host Alyssa Farah Griffin, who resigned from Trump’s White House staff and has since become a critic, recalled rallying Cruz to Trump when she worked for conservative House members in 2016.
But, she said, “Jan. 6 is something I really struggle to get past. … How can you agree with these undemocratic actions and try to disenfranchise 80 million voters? And do you think Biden legitimately won the election?
Cruz urged viewers to read her book for her perspective on Jan. 6. As for who really won, he only said that “Biden is the president today.
Hours later on Fox News, he called the show “a bit of a circus,” but said conservatives shouldn’t “just preach to the choir.” Many viewers of View only saw one partisan story all the time.
The show was broadcast live from ABC’s New York studios.
In town a day earlier, the senator drove to Yankee Stadium to watch his hometown Houston Astros clinch a World Series berthvisible behind home plate in the colors of the Astros. Viral tweets showed Yankees fans flipping the bird over to him and shouting abuse, calling it a “racist piece of s—” and urging it to “Go back to Cancun!” a reference to his brief getaway when a winter storm knocked out power to millions of Texans last year.
“It’s okay,” Cruz said as he settled in for a grill on View. “I was quite happy with how the game ended.
The ruckus started moments later, with shouting about climate change. Cruz looked up and continued talking as the screams continued.
Goldberg finally burst in to silence the hecklers: “Let’s do our job. We hear you.”
“I couldn’t even hear what they were protesting,” Cruz said.
“They were accusing us of not covering climate change,” Sunny Hostin said.
In September 2020, Cruz appeared on View promote a previous book, One vote, on high-stakes Supreme Court confirmation fights. He also has Democrats’ lambasted approach to COVID-19 pandemic.