Just hours ago, Ted Cruz joked about throwing his Democratic opponent in a jail cell alongside Hillary Clinton.
But on Wednesday, the Texas senator had shifted to blaming Democrats for creating a political divide in the wake of a series of bombs sent to high-profile Democrats. Cruz appeared at a political rally in the wake of the attempted bombings, saying Democrats have themselves to blame for the attacks against them.
“Let’s be clear,” Cruz said (via the Dallas News). “The anger and rage that we’ve been seeing on the far left is deliberately provoked and stoked by Democratic politicians. When Maxine Waters and Corey Booker tell the mob to go harass, scream, yell, confront people — that is not productive. When Hillary Clinton, sadly, says that we can be civil after the Democrats have won the election, that’s not productive either.”
It was Cruz himself being accused of incivility less than a day before. In his campaign appearance on Tuesday, Cruz warned ominously of dangerous “mobs” of liberals, copying a new and frequent line of attack from Donald Trump. When a supporter joked about locking up Democratic Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke, Cruz laughed and suggested that he could share a cell with Hillary Clinton.
As the Dallas News noted, Cruz also used the recent political violence toward the left as a campaign selling point, telling Texas voters that they need to choose between a path of prosperity or to “give in to the howling rage and anger and bitterness and hatred that is dividing our country.”
— Todd J. Gillman (@toddgillman) October 24, 2018
Cruz has garnered widespread criticism for the comments and calls for him to apologize to Beto O’Rourke for suggesting that he would be thrown in prison. The rhetoric follows in a series of threats Donald Trump has made to throw Hillary Clinton in prison, a common campaign rally line during the 2016 campaign that he has resurrected at times in attacks on the left. Cruz, once a vocal critic of Donald Trump’s rhetoric and attacks against opponents, has now joined forces with the president as the two campaign together in support of Cruz’s re-election bid.
Police have not said if they have a suspect in the attempted bombings of top Democratic figures, and have not said if they have any idea of the motive behind the attack. After his statement taking aim at Democrats for the bombings, Ted Cruz would also release a statement on Twitter decrying the attacks.