Ted Cruz Called 'Coward' For Apologizing to Tucker Carlson Over Jan. 6 Remarks

Senator Ted Cruz has been widely mocked after he appeared on Tucker Carlson's show to apologize for referring to January 6 as a "violent terrorist attack," after the remarks were criticized by conservative figures.

The Texas Republican told the Fox News host that the comments he made at a Senate hearing on the eve of the one year anniversary on the attack were "sloppy" and "frankly dumb."

Cruz, who has referred to January 6 as a terrorist incident in the past without having to apologize, said he was only intending to refer to those who attacked police officers that day and not the "thousands of peaceful protesters" supporting Donald Trump in Washington D.C.

Following his appearance, a number of Democrat figures accused Cruz of being a "coward" for bucking under pressure and not sticking to his beliefs following criticism from Carlson and other Donald Trump supporters.

Others also made reference to how Cruz was one of eight Republican senators who voted to object to the Electoral College results, remained a Trump supporter even after the former president made disparaging remarks about his wife, and suggested his father was somehow linked to John F. Kennedy's assassination.

"What I was referring to are the limited number of people who engaged in violent attacks against police officers, you and I both agree that if you assault a police officer, you should go to jail," Cruz said.

"I wasn't saying that the thousands of peaceful protesters supporting Donald Trump are somehow terrorists. I wasn't saying the millions of patriots across the country supporting President Trump are terrorists. And that's what a lot of people have misunderstood."

Cruz went on to say that he has described people who have attacked police officers as terrorists for several years.

"I use that word in 2020 for the Antifa and BLM terrorists that assaulted cops and firebombed police cars," Cruz said. "But I agree it was a mistake to use the word because the Democrats and the corporate media have so politicized it. They're trying to paint everyone as a terrorist and it's a lie."

During a fiery exchange, Carlson said that he did not believe that Cruz used the word "terrorist" accidentally, and that his comments about people who violently attack police officers "doesn't make sense" as they still would not be classified as terrorists by law.

In a tweet, Pennsylvania Rep. Brendan Boyle wrote: "Wow! What a sniveling little weaselly coward Ted Cruz is. That begs the question: is Ted Cruz the single biggest coward in DC? Or just one of the biggest? Tough call."

While sharing a clip of Cruz's appearance on Carlson's show on Twitter, Illinois rep. Adam Kinzinger described it as "one of the most pathetic things I have ever seen."

Democratic congressman Eric Swalwell tweeted: "Holy smokes. Are you surprised Ted Cruz just backed down from Tucker Carlson's attack on him last night for Cruz calling January 6 a 'terrorist attack?' Cruz folded like a card table.

"We know Cruz won't defend his wife but now he won't even defend...Ted Cruz?"

Former Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro added: "Ted Cruz would apologize for breathing if it meant winning over the MAGA crowd."

Cruz was also mocked by Republican figures. Former GOP strategist Steve Schmidt tweeted: "Ted Cruz groveling for favor between twitches as he absorbs the emasculating lecture from 2024 contender Tucker Carlson is a depraved spectacle that affirms the old proverbs about cowards tasting a thousand deaths.

"'When a coward sees a man he can beat he becomes hungry for a fight' is an old African proverb. Perhaps if Ted knew it, he wouldn't have so misjudged Tucker. Emasculation and humiliation seem to lurk like Nag and Nagina around Ted's ambition."

Rick Wilson, co-founder of the Lincoln Project, wrote: "Ted Cruz's dominatrix can have the night off. Tucker just humiliated him more thoroughly than a trained professional."

However, some also praised Carlson for making Cruz backtrack on his words about the January 6 attack.

"Thanks Tucker Carlson for holding Ted Cruz to account. Tucker was direct in saying 'I just don't believe you' when Cruz spun around [with] nonsense about his 'terror attack'' label for J6. Bravo," tweeted political commentator and frequent Fox News guest Tammy Bruce.

In a tweet sharing a clip if his appearance on Fox News, Cruz wrote: "Yesterday, I used a dumb choice of words and unfortunately a lot of people are misunderstanding what I meant.

"I was NOT calling the thousands of peaceful protesters on Jan 6 terrorists. I would never do so; I have repeatedly, explicitly said the OPPOSITE—denouncing the Democrats' shameful efforts to do so & to try to paint every Trump voter in America as 'terrorists' & 'insurrectionists.'"

Cruz has been contacted for comment.

ted cruz apology
Ted Cruz has been mocked after he apologized to Tucker Carlson for calling January 6 a “violent terrorist attack." Susan Walsh-Pool/ Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Editor's Picks

Newsweek cover
  • Newsweek magazine delivered to your door
  • Unlimited access to Newsweek.com
  • Ad free Newsweek.com experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts
Newsweek cover
  • Unlimited access to Newsweek.com
  • Ad free Newsweek.com experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts