Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) told a Missouri news outlet that his critics are part of a “woke mob,” remarks that indicate he will not accept responsibility for the role he played on January 6, the day he voted against certifying President Joe Biden‘s election win and groups of former President Donald Trump‘s supporters laid siege to the Capitol. The attack, which resulted in five deaths, was spurred by President Trump’s falsehoods about the election, which Hawley often regurgitated despite the lack of any credible evidence.
Hawley’s comments come even as some of his own colleagues call for him to be censured and removed from office.
“I would say that’s absolutely false and a lie,” he told news channel KVTO. Hawley dismissed criticisms, saying they come “from the woke left, the woke mob that are leading a vote on the floor of the Senate about election integrity.”
Hawley also pushed back against any suggestion that those who participated in the violence are also guilty of sedition.
These criticisms are “not only crazy—it’s a lie. It is simply false and I’m not going to give into it for a second,” Hawley claimed, though in the same breath he rebuked the violence, saying those involved must be “punished to the fullest extent of the law.”
Hawley’s defiance indicates he has no intention of letting his actions affect his political future. Yesterday, Politico quoted Republican consultants who surmised that Hawley is laying the groundwork for a presidential run.
“If the Democrats think you’re so powerful and influential that they have to take you down a notch, it’s going to help with fundraising, but you have to have substance,” said consultant David Carney, who worked on Rick Perry’s 2012 campaign.
“He’s definitely one of the two dozen guys in the mix for president. Why would anybody know a Missouri senator, basically a freshman who’s a first-termer? This is what you need to do to break through the clutter,” Carney said. “Now it’s a double-edged sword because if you do too much crazy stuff, you’re not credible. So you have to do non-crazy stuff. You can’t become a caricature. You can’t be the class clown.”
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.