Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley's presidential hopes crippled after election stunt led to Capitol violence: report

On Saturday, POLITICO reported that Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Josh Hawley (R-MO), two of the most vocal lawmakers behind the effort to overturn the presidential election, are struggling to fend off the backlash for their actions in light of the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol that left five people dead.

"After rioters stormed the Capitol in a bid to halt certification of Joe Biden's election, Hawley and Cruz are facing immediate consequences," reported Marianne Levine, Holly Otterbein, and Burgess Everett. "Hawley's political patron, former Sen. John Danforth (R-Mo.), turned on him, calling his support the 'biggest mistake I've ever made.' His top donor, David Humphreys, said he should be censured. Hawley's book publisher dropped him, interfering with a key element of many presidential campaigns. Cruz, meanwhile, is facing a redux of the backlash he received for egging on a shutdown in 2013 over a failed effort to defund Obamacare."

For their part, Cruz and Hawley both denounced the violent attack on the Capitol in the immediate aftermath as the certification of the electoral votes resumed — but both still voted to block certification of certain states and neither took any responsibility for what happened.

"[They] think they're getting a pass and they can be popular with the base. And there's no harm done. There was harm done," said former Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN). Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) agreed, saying, "There's no way they cannot be complicit in this. That they think they can walk away and say, 'I just exercised my right as a senator?' Especially after we came back here and after they saw what happened. I don't know how you can live with yourself right now knowing that people lost their lives."

"Sen. Hawley was doing something that was really dumbass," Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) told NPR on Friday. "It was a terrible, terrible idea and you don't lie to the American people."

Even many of their pro-Trump Republican colleagues have condemned them, with Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) telling Fox News, "These senators, as insurrectionists were literally storming the Capitol, were sending out fundraising emails."

According to Politico, Hawley declined to be interviewed for their article.