AUSTIN, Texas - The call for Texas Senator Ted Cruz to resign comes after he objected to certifying Joe Biden's presidential victory.
A change.org petition is demanding Cruz step down, however, in an exclusive interview with KTRK, he defended his actions.
"The purpose of the objection was to protect the integrity of our election. 11 senators came together and proposed that the Congress create an election commission that would be credible, impartial, and could conduct an emergency 10-day audit into the election returns into the very serious allegations of voter fraud that could consider the evidence and make a definitive adjudication, I still think that would have been the right approach," said Sen. Cruz.
It’s claimed the mob that swept into the US Capitol on Wednesday was emboldened by earlier statements from the Texas Senator, a case of "words have consequences," according to Abhi Rahman with Texas Democrats.
"Ted Cruz has embarrassed Texas one too many times and he needs to go. This is beneath the office of the Senator instead of looking out and working on $2,000 checks for everybody, Cruz has spent his time doing something he knows isn't true," said Rahman.
Democrats also labeled 16 other Republicans as traitors for refusing to certify the results.
"This is more than politics, this isn't about being Republican, this isn't about being Democrat. This is why we are not calling for John Cornyn to resign, This is about right and wrong, this is about democracy, this is about our constitution, this is about defending our democratic institutions. Ted Cruz's rhetoric basically equaled sedition and treason," said Rahman.
Travis County GOP Chairman Matt Mackowiak says linking the breach to floor debate is politics. "That disagreement doesn't mean they should resign and it sure as hell doesn't mean they are traitors," said Mackowiak.
Mackowiak went on to say he thought after the incident, which he described as "domestic terrorism," occurred, it would have been in the country's best interest for Senator Cruz and Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) to withdraw objections to the election certification.
"For the good of the country, but at least that’s a debate, I don’t believe it’s appropriate or anywhere near appropriate for anyone to resign for discharging their duties as for voting for something or requesting something," said Mackowiak.
President-Elect Biden Friday also criticized Senator Cruz. When asked if the Senators and other Republicans should resign, Biden suggested the focus now should be on another election day.
"I think they should just be flat beaten the next time they run. I think the American public has a real, good, clear look at who they are. They're part of the "Big Lie," said Biden.
Political analyst Brian Smith says the senator probably was trying to position himself a president run in for years. "Right now the Ted Cruz brand is a damaged brand," said Smith.
It is ironic, Smith noted, the Democrats appear to be trying what they're upset about, flipping a lost election.
"The Democrats had their chance to get rid of Ted Cruz in 2018, they were unable to do that, he is up for re-election in 2024 and if they are smart they are going to look and say we have four years’ worth of material with Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, and the events on Wednesday to use against them. If the voters of Texas decide to keep Ted Cruz or get rid of Ted Cruz, that's how democracy works, it doesn't work because Congresspeople from New York or other Senators say he should resign, it works when voters decide who should stay in office and who doesn't," said Smith.
While Democrats hope all this will finally help them turn Texas blue, Smith says the 2022 election could also be a referendum on what the Biden administration has or has not accomplished.