Sen. Ted Cruz Blasts White Nationalists in Charlottesville as 'Idiots'

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By Daniel Arkin

Sen. Ted Cruz laid into the white nationalists who descended on Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend, blasting them Wednesday as "idiots."

"The Nazis and Klansmen and white supremacists who gathered there — they're racists, they're bigots, they're idiots," Cruz said before a town hall in Katy, Texas. "And they're spreading lies."

Cruz, R-Texas, was one of the first elected officials on Saturday to implore the Justice Department to investigate the horrific car-ramming that killed one of the counter-protesters, Heather Heyer, calling the killing a "grotesque act of domestic terrorism."

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In his remarks Wednesday, Cruz urged Americans from both sides of the political divide to repudiate the hatred spewed by the racist groups.

"I think it's incumbent on all of us, every American, regardless of party — Republican, Democrat — regardless of who you are, to stand together and denounce those lies."

That plea for a fulsome condemnation of the white nationalists and neo-Nazis might have been a veiled swipe at President Donald Trump, who has been assailed by both parties for blaming "both sides" in the deadly protests.

Related: He's All White: Racists Praise Trump as 'Honest Man'

"What about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, alt-right? Do they have any semblance of guilt?" Trump asked reporters in an explosive press conference Tuesday. "What about the fact they came charging with clubs in hands, swinging clubs? Do they have any problem? I think they do."

Incidentally, Cruz once used the word "idiots" to characterize people who protested the election of Trump last November.

In an interview with "Fox & Friends" on Nov. 17, Cruz ripped into the "hypocrisy" of people who "jumped on their high horse" when Trump, as a candidate, had suggested he might not accept the results of the election.

"Look, these are now the idiots that are protesting in the street and laying their bodies down in front of cars and disrupting traffic," Cruz told the anchors of the Fox News morning show.