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Ted Cruz to GOP mob: Lock up my opponent with Hillary Clinton

Ted Cruz called for his opponent Beto O’Rourke to be jailed, ignoring concerns about the violence being incited against top Democratic officials.

By Oliver Willis - October 24, 2018
Ted Cruz

At a Tuesday campaign rally, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) called for his opponent Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), to be thrown in jail with Hillary Clinton.

As Cruz spoke at the event, standing alongside Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), members of the audience began a chant of “lock him up!”

Instead of taking the high road or pointing out that O’Rourke has not been accused of any crime, Cruz instead echoed his newfound friend, Trump.

“Well, you know, there’s a double-occupancy cell with Hillary Clinton,” Cruz responded, referencing Trump’s frequent campaign rallying cry to “lock her up.”

Cruz’s comments are another instance of the Republican Party embracing dangerous rhetoric that sends a signal that political violence and retribution are acceptable.

Hours after Cruz made his remarks, the Secret Service said it intercepted suspicious packages mailed to Secretary Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama. The Secret Service said the packages were identified as “potential explosive devices.”

The New York offices of CNN, an outlet Trump routinely demonizes, were also evacuated on Wednesday after a suspicious device was found.

In August, CNN reporter Jim Acosta said he was worried about “somebody getting hurt” as a result of violent anti-press rhetoric at Trump rallies.

On Monday, a pipe bomb was also placed in the mailbox of progressive financier George Soros, who was recently attacked in an ad by the Republican Party’s congressional campaign arm. Soros is also a frequent subject of unhinged right-wing conspiracy theories.

Cruz is facing a tougher than expected re-election challenge from O’Rourke. The Republican senator is pulling out all the stops, including a campaign rally with Trump.

Now he is adopting Trump’s dangerous and demagogic language at the same time Democratic leaders are being targeted for harm.

Cruz invoking the jailing of his political rival is yet another sign that Republicans have completely embraced the worst impulses of authoritarian regimes.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation. 

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