WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) fired back Friday, saying President-elect Joe Biden compared him to a Nazi propagandist.
“President-elect Biden has just compared me and another Republican Senator to Nazis,” Hawley said. “Think about that for a moment. Let it sink in.”
Hawley argued he raised lawful questions about the way elections were conducted, just as Democrats did in previous years, but saw a much different outcome.
“This is undignified, immature, and intemperate behavior from the President-elect,” Hawley said. “It is utterly shameful. He should act like a dignified adult and retract these sick comments.”
The President-elect made the comment while answering reporters’ questions in Washington, D.C. Friday afternoon. A reporter asked Biden if Sens. Hawley and Ted Cruz should resign after a violent mob contesting election results stormed the Capitol on Wednesday.
Biden said the two senators should be “flat beaten” in their next elections. Biden then referred to “The Big Lie” and said that those like Joseph Goebbels, Hawley and Cruz kept repeating the lie.
Goebbels was a member of the Nazi party and Reich Minister of Propaganda under Adolf Hitler during WWII.
It’s the latest public bashing for Hawley.
He started the week with a push to challenge the Electoral College. That turned into the focus of a violent siege of the U.S. Capitol and calls for his resignation.
Aside from President Donald Trump, who riled up supporters just before they stormed the Capitol, no politician has been more publicly blamed for Wednesday’s unprecedented assault on American democracy than Hawley.
The 41-year-old first-term senator, a second-tier player through much of the Trump era, has rapidly emerged as a strident Trump ally and may be among the most tarnished by the events of Jan. 6 for years to come.
“There will be political fallout for his actions,” said Alice Stewart, a Republican strategist and former adviser to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s 2016 presidential campaign. “The initial decision to oppose the will of the people was downright wrong. The post-insurrection calculation to continue the charade is fallacious and dangerous.”
Hawley, who defeated Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill in 2018, was once celebrated by the Republican establishment as a rising star. The Stanford- and Yale-educated lawyer was young, ambitious and savvy.
It surprised some when he was first to announce he would endorse false claims of fraud and take up Trump’s cause, forcing House and Senate votes that would inevitably fail and in no way alter the election’s outcome.
Support of the challenge to the electoral vote count was seen as keeping in good stead with Trump’s supporters, who dominate the Republican base. The move instantly raised his national profile. Soon Hawley and Cruz were leading about 10 other senators in the effort — notably not winning over Sens. Ben Sasse of Nebraska or Tom Cotton of Arkansas, two other young Republicans viewed as having presidential ambitions.
But Hawley’s scheme fell apart almost before it got going.
As the Senate began debate, pro-Trump mobs barreled into the Capitol and interrupted proceedings. By the time the Senate reconvened, after one woman was shot and killed by police and parts of the Capitol ransacked, support in the Senate for challenging the results had all but evaporated.
He faced instant rebuke from his own party. With Hawley sitting near, Utah Sen. Mitt Romney blasted those who objected to finalizing Biden’s election.
Accusing Trump of inciting insurrection, Romney said, “Those who choose to continue to support his dangerous gambit by objecting to the results of a legitimate democratic election will forever be seen as being complicit in an unprecedented attack against our democracy.”
“That will be their legacy,” he added.
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