Ted Cruz says “overwhelming majority” of violent criminals are Democrats

Listen to this demagogue:

That’s Ted Cruz insisting that “the simple and undeniable fact is the overwhelming majority of violent criminals are Democrats.” Apparently he decided that his claim that the terrorist attack over Thanksgiving weekend had perhaps been carried out by a “transgendered leftist activist” didn’t go over well, and wanted to substitute black men for trans women as his bogeypeople of choice. Cruz was responding to Hugh Hewitt, who had prompted him by insisting that he had never met anyone in the pro-life movement advocating violence (there have been 73 attacks on abortion clinics since 1997).

Ted Cruz at a treason rally, via Creative Commons

Ted Cruz is a vigorous defender of your right to armed rebellion. As in, violent crime.

Not that Cruz cares, but the claim that “the overwhelming majority of violent criminals are Democrats” is not simple, and it is completely deniable. That’s because there simply isn’t any data on the partisan breakdown of violent criminals. If there were, his campaign would have been able to produce it when asked for comment after he made the claim. They weren’t. Cruz says that “the media doesn’t report” the partisan breakdown of violent criminals because they’re hiding it from the public. The media never reports on the partisan breakdown of violent criminals because no such breakdown exists. No one bothers to poll prison populations because — hey, guess what? — felons have had their voting rights taken away. Which brings me to Cruz’s next point:

Yes, felon disenfranchisement disproportionately affects non-white populations. Normally when rights are being taken away from non-white people at higher rates than from white people, we think that’s a bad thing, regardless as to whether leveling the playing field carries a partisan upshot. Cruz, a self-described smartypants, would no doubt understand me if I invoked Rawls and asked if, under the veil of ignorance, it would be reasonable to deny ex-felons their voting rights after they had completed their sentences. It isn’t. It entails the continued denial of full citizenship after a person’s proverbial “debt to society” has been paid.

What’s more, there is no evidence to suggest that disenfranchisement acts as a deterrent on crime. It’s simply a declaration of superiority — one that excludes ex-felons from society and, if anything, leads to recidivism. There’s a reason why Kentucky governor-elect Matt Bevin, a Tea Partier who is to the right of most of the GOP field on same-sex marriage, health care and a host of other 2016 issues, is in favor of automatic rights restoration. Believe it or not, it isn’t a partisan issue until partisans like Ted Cruz make it one.

Cruz wasn’t done, of course. Sophist that he is, he pivoted away from Hugh’s original question and ran off a greatest hits collection of classic Republican talking points. He called Democrats “soft on crime” because they “appoint to bench judges who release violent criminals,” i.e. Willie Horton. He tied President Obama to Assata Shakur — a “cop killer” — for trying to appoint her lawyer “to a senior Justice Department position” (I have no idea what he’s talking about there; Shakur’s longtime lawyer, Lennox Hinds, remains on Rutgers University’s faculty). It was nails on chalkboard for me; it was music for Hugh Hewitt’s listeners.

Let’s remember this the next time Cruz, who just accused a political party of having a monopoly on mass violence, says that President Obama is “dividing” this country.

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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23 Responses to “Ted Cruz says “overwhelming majority” of violent criminals are Democrats”

  1. seamansm says:

    Now that’s funny!

  2. Skye says:

    Closer, I think that Ted Cruz makes single celled organisms look complex.

  3. seamansm says:

    Nice quote!

  4. woodroad34 says:

    You can’t hypnotize someone with a strong will. Hate radio/hate speech is that something special in the water supply. What’s that quote from that Chicago Tribune newsman? “It’s easy being a republican because it takes very little energy to give someone the finger and a whole lot more strength to give a helping hand”

  5. woodroad34 says:

    White collar crime isn’t necessarily “non-violent”. From Merriam-Webster (second and third definitions):

    2: injury by or as if by distortion, infringement, or profanation : outrage
    a : intense, turbulent, or furious and often destructive action or force b : vehement feeling or expression : fervor; also : an instance of such action or feeling c : a clashing or jarring quality : discordance

  6. seamansm says:

    Now that’s funny! Know what is the scariest thing?, people are calling for a Trump/Cruz 2016 ticket. I swear either something has been put in our watering supply or people have just become some kind of special stupid!

  7. woodroad34 says:


  8. woodroad34 says:

    Hitler was Catholic. This little quote from Mein Kampf (via http://www.nobeliefs.com/hitler.htm) sounds very familiar:

    He spoke, unashamedly, about God, fanaticism, idealism, dogma, and the power of propaganda. Hitler held strong faith in all his convictions. He justified his fight for the German people and against Jews by using Godly and Biblical reasoning. Indeed, one of his most revealing statements makes this quite clear:

    “Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.”

  9. woodroad34 says:

    He’s an auto-immune disease–causing the country to harm itself.

  10. woodroad34 says:

    That sounds very much like “we found uranium yellowcake in Iraq”. Who can trust a leader who blatantly lies like that? Every word uttered would be a lie. This is rightwing nut job talking head stuff–not a potential leader of the free world.

    It’s also the kind of lie people like him would make:

  11. seamansm says:

    I stand corrected, how about a primate baby?

  12. Skye says:

    I think that’s a gigantic insult.. To children of course.

  13. TampaZeke says:

    The overwhelming majority of ALL criminals in the USA are CHRISTIAN and were raised in Christian families with Christian “values”.

    Of course you’ll never hear Ted Cruz or Mike Huckabilly or any Republican acknowledging that fact.

  14. BeccaM says:

    As Nicho notes below with the correct attribution of this BS — and libelous — false assertion from Cruz (and his GOP co-conspirators), in the time we spend debunking or responding to it, they’ll have moved on to their next baldfaced lie.

    When they assert Muslims in New Jersey were cheering on 9/11, demand THEY show the proof or we can safely conclude they are lying when they claim to have seen it.

    When they claim Robert Dear Jr. is a transgender leftist activist, demand the proof. But we shouldn’t spend any more time on it than to show his photo and note he was ranting about baby parts when arrested.

    When they claim the ‘overwhelming majority’ of violent criminals are Democrats, demand the proof and state simply they are lying. Point out the racist dogwhistling if it seems appropriate, but to go any further is just a waste of effort, because like I say, by time we’re done, they’ll have moved on to their next propaganda Big Lie.

  15. BeccaM says:


  16. FLL says:

    Considering his usual audience, it sounds like Cruz is making a dog-whistle racist comment. As is often the case, Cruz is being too cute by half.

  17. seamansm says:

    How can you take a guy seriously who talks like a little child?

  18. Indigo says:


  19. Doug105 says:

    The overwhelming majority of criminals are christian, not sure of how many are violent or if the percentage stays about the same. But the media and ted cruz won’t talk about that…..

    “Right-wing extremists averaged 337 attacks per year in the decade after 9/11, causing a total of 254 fatalities, according to a study by Arie Perliger, a professor at the United States Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center. The toll has increased since the study was released in 2012. They just haven’t been able to hit a numbers rich target since Timothy Mcveigh.

    Data Shows That Right Wing Republicans Are The Real Terrorist Threat To America


    Cops Confirm BLM Shooters Were Walking Right-Wing Stereotypes: Racist, Anti-Government Gun Nuts


    While Republicans continue to do damage control after an anti-Obama gun nut took their violent anti-abortion rhetoric at face value and went on a shooting spree in a Planned Parenthood clinic, another group of right-wingers were busy reminding America that the right’s toxic comments about race are equally dangerous.

    Police have begun releasing details about the young men responsible for shooting multiple Black Lives Matter activists at a protest in Minneapolis. It’s not a pretty picture, but it isn’t surprising. The four men were consumed with anti-government and racist ideologies, and obsessed with guns. The mixture directly led to the violence against African American protesters.

    From Gawker:

    According to the complaint against Allen “Lance” Scarsella, above right, his phone contained racist images and “many photos of himself with guns” when police searched it after his arrest last week. Scarsella is accused, along with Nathan Gustavsson, Daniel Macey, Joseph Backman, in connection with the shooting of five people at the scene of protests against the police killing of Jamar Clark in Minneapolis on the evening of November 23. The victims, all black men, were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

  20. The_Fixer says:

    Well of course the Republicans aren’t violent criminals, they’re too busy fixing financial markets, dismantling social safety nets and grabbing as much cash as they can to do anything violent, Silly! If they want something violent done, they “outsource” it, like they do with things like manufacturing.

    For all of Cruz’s supposed genius, he certainly acts like the dumbest man on the planet. Of course, he says this stuff to rile up the base. But surely, he should know that in order to be elected President, one has to draw from both parties to get the necessary votes. Purposely alienating one of those parties is just a dumb move.

    This man has no chance of winning the Presidency, and it will be a pleasure watching his career self-destruct. He’s already pissed off the power players in the Republican party. It’s even more gratifying watching someone with such an ego get put in his place.

  21. nicho says:

    File under “Gish Gallop”

  22. Quilla says:

    I’ve often wondered why they “bleep” the curses on tv when, in fact, entire speeches by psychopathic Republican Candidates for Dictator should be blotted out entirely by, say, Sousa marches.

  23. I wonder what “non-violent” white collar criminals and tax cheats tend to be – knowing that their actions destroy literally millions of livelihoods and force grandmas to choose between medicine and heat in the winter – all while eating cat food. And then their desperate children and grandkids turn to drugs and… … … violence.

    But, at least they aren’t violent.

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