“The View” co-host Joy Behar called Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Josh Hawley, R-Mo. “enemies of this country” on Thursday, claiming the two Republican senators “are encouraging insurrections” and “violence.”
Behar made the declaration as “The View” co-hosts were discussing their thoughts regarding the inauguration of President Joe Biden the day before.
The two lawmakers have come under fire for challenging the certification of Biden’s Electoral College victory in the wake of the Capitol violence on Jan. 6 by a mob of pro-Trump supporters. Behar pointed to the fact that Cruz attended the inauguration.
As Behar was sharing her takeaways from the ceremony she said that she wants to know, “How did Ted Cruz ever get in there?”
“Did he come in underneath Lady Gaga’s skirt?” Behar went on to ask, adding, “What was he doing there? Why are these enemies there?”
Hawley attended the inauguration as well, however. Former President Donald Trump left Washington D.C. for Florida early and did not attend the ceremony.
When it was co-host Meghan McCain’s turn to share her thoughts on Thursday she said Biden delivered a “beautiful speech” and it was “beautifully executed.”
McCain then went on to defend Cruz from Behar’s attacks.
“The flip side of this is that there are 74 million Americans who didn’t vote for him … I believe Joe Biden. I don’t know if I believe the rest of the Democratic coalition,” McCain said, regarding calls for unity.
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“I just listened to Joy call Ted Cruz an ‘enemy’ and ask why he was even present at the inauguration,” McCain continued. “So if the rest of the Democratic Party and the left want to act like all Republicans in all factions of this country are the enemy, I have trepidation going forward on just how much hope I have for us coming togetherr.”
McCain acknowledged that “it’s a great day to be a Democrat,” before noting that there is “fighting” within the Democratic coalition and with Republicans.
“I don’t want to be considered an enemy of the people because I’m still a Republican, I’m still a conservative, I disagree with policies he’s already invoking in the executive orders he did last night,” she added, calling on both parties to co-exist.
While conservative, the daughter of the late Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has spoken of her fondness and support for Biden given the longtime friendship between the two men.
Behar, who repeatedly questioned the legitimacy of Trump’s 2016 election win and heavily promoted the Russian collusion narrative, wasn’t buying McCain’s argument.
“I consider him an enemy,” Behar said, before saying she doesn’t “necessarily consider Mitch McConnell an enemy even though I think he’s a political enemy.”
“But I think that Cruz and Hawley are enemies of this country, that they are encouraging insurrections [and] violence,” Behar continued. “People died at the Capitol … Yes, Ted Cruz is an enemy right now, of this country. I don’t take it back.
McCain then hit back saying, “Until the people of Texas and the people of Missouri rescind them and until they are no longer senators and Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley are no longer serving and the American public decides that they are enemies and traitors and they need to be removed from office, they have every right to sit in the inauguration as anyone else does.”
In a statement sent to Fox News reacting to Behar’s comments, Sen. Hawley said, “I will never apologize for giving voice to the millions of Missourians and Americans who have concerns about the integrity of our elections.”
“That’s my job, and I will keep doing it,” he continued.
A spokesman for Cruz told Fox News the Republican senator “does not think about Joy Behar at all.”
Senate Democrats have been pushing for Cruz and Hawley to resign following the riot at the U.S. Capitol building earlier this month, claiming that their roles in challenging the results of November’s election helped to “undermine” democracy.
The two Republican senators were vocal objectors during the counting of electoral votes, and now they are being urged to step down as a result.
While Hawley and Cruz were vocal supporters of the electoral vote objections, neither one endorsed force or violence. Both condemned the violence and said that those who broke the law should face consequences.
Cruz called what happened a “terrorist attack” and “a horrific assault on our democracy.” He called for those involved to face prosecution.
Hawley also said that “those who attacked police and broke the law must be prosecuted.”
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Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer and Megan Henney contributed to this report.