Josh Hawley, senator who ran from Capitol mob, mocked by home paper

Kansas City Star editorial excoriates Republican as ‘laughingstock’ as memes based on January 6 video proliferate

Josh Hawley, the Missouri senator shown running from the mob he incited on January 6, is “a laughingstock” who should be afraid of what the Capitol attack committee might disclose next, a leading newspaper in his home state said.

Hawley was widely criticised for raising a fist to protesters outside Congress on 6 January 2021, then after the mob sent by Donald Trump failed to stop certification of Joe Biden’s election win, voting to object to results anyway.

The senator cast that vote, American voters now know, after running when rioters broke into Congress.

In an editorial, the Kansas City Star noted that Hawley will soon publish a book entitled Manhood: The Masculine Virtues America Needs, but said people watching the hearing “didn’t see much virile bravado as he ran from the mob”.

The Star began: “Josh Hawley is a laughingstock. During Thursday night’s televised hearings of the House committee investigating the January 6 2021 coup attempt … [Democratic] representative Elaine Luria showed video of Missouri’s junior senator that will surely follow him the rest of his life.

“In the clip, Hawley sprints across a hallway as he and his fellow senators are evacuated after insurrectionists had breached the Capitol building. When it played on the screen, the audience in the room with the committee erupted in laughter.”

On Twitter, users spliced the video to songs including Born to Run, Running Up That Hill and the Benny Hill theme. Charlie Sykes, a conservative Trump critic, wrote: “Running Josh Hawley is a meme for the ages.”

But the Star also noted that “Hawley has become one of the defining figures of that day. A famous photo captured by Francis Chung shows him raising a fist in solidarity with the crowds that would soon break through doors, loot offices and assault law enforcement.”

The senator shows no sign of backing down. Speaking at a conservative conference in Florida on Friday, apparently without irony, he said: “I just want to say to all of those liberals out there and the liberal media, just in case you haven’t gotten the message yet, I do not regret [voting to object to electoral results].

“And I am not backing down. I’m not going to apologise. I’m not going to cower. I’m not going to run from you. I’m not going to bend the knee.”

He has also used the image to fundraise, selling among other items mugs said to be “the perfect way to enjoy coffee, tea, or liberal tears!”

Politico, which owns the image, asked Hawley to stop using it. He refused. On Friday morning, he tweeted a link to a site selling the mug.

In February, Hawley told the Huffington Post: “It is not a pro-riot mug. This was not me encouraging rioters … At the time that we were out there, folks were gathered peacefully to protest, and they have a right to do that. They do not have a right to assault cops.”

As the Star noted, however, in Thursday’s hearing Luria “quoted a Capitol police officer who was there and told the committee that Hawley’s gesture ‘riled up the crowd, and it bothered her greatly because he was doing it in a safe space protected by the officers and the barriers’”.

Josh Hawley speaks in Tampa on Friday.
Josh Hawley speaks in Tampa on Friday. Photograph: Phelan M Ebenhack/AP

Hawley was the first senator to say he would object on January 6, when he was joined by 146 other Republicans. Hawley, the Star said, “took to the floor as the very first voice calling to throw out millions of Americans’ votes cast fairly and legally for the rightful winner in a presidential election”.

It continued: “Funny as the visual of the self-proclaimed manly senator’s immediate retreat was, there’s absolutely nothing amusing about January 6 2021. A bipartisan Senate report concluded seven people died as a result of the attack. Two more Metropolitan police officers took their own lives shortly after.

“About 150 members of law enforcement were injured, and it’s impossible to know how many others caught up in the horrific event will carry scars for life, of body and mind. We said that day Hawley has blood on his hands for his role in perpetuating the lies that drove thousands of people to violence. That remains true.”

The editorial signed off with a warning. Noting the work of Liz Cheney, a Wyoming Republican nonetheless vice-chair of the January 6 committee, it said: “Josh Hawley might not fear a little mockery of his hasty flight from Capitol marauders.

“But he might be justified if he’s afraid of what emails or text messages some previously-loyal staffer might be considering turning over to the House committee.

“Stay tuned to the hearings.”


Martin Pengelly in New York

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Republican Josh Hawley fled January 6 rioters – and Twitter ran with it
Capitol security footage of the Missouri senator spurred laughter during the hearing and spawned online ridicule

Martin Pengelly

22, Jul, 2022 @3:40 AM

Article image
'Complicit in big lie': Republican senators Hawley and Cruz face calls to resign
Echoing Biden’s reference to Goebbels, Toomey says colleagues who led vote objections are ‘complicit in the big lie’

Martin Pengelly in New York and Richard Luscombe in Miami

10, Jan, 2021 @3:26 PM

Article image
Billionaire backer feels 'deceived' by Josh Hawley over election objections
Jeffrey Yass, Club for Growth donor, told associate he did not foresee senator’s role in attempt to overturn US democracy

Stephanie Kirchgaessner in Washington

18, Jan, 2021 @8:00 AM

Article image
‘Coward’ Josh Hawley mocked by Senate rival for fleeing Capitol mob he incited
Democrat Lucas Kunce says ‘I swear this coward is always running from something’ as he announces bid to challenge key Republican

Martin Pengelly in New York

06, Jan, 2023 @8:33 PM

Article image
Pence the ‘hero’ who foiled Trump’s plot – could it lead to a 2024 run?
The former VP rejected the plot to overturn the election – the death knell for Trump and Pence’s marriage of convenience

David Smith in Washington

17, Jun, 2022 @5:00 AM

Article image
‘US democracy will not survive for long’: how January 6 hearings plot a roadmap to autocracy
Trump’s efforts to subvert the elections laid bare the system’s weaknesses, exposing it to greater exploitation

Ed Pilkington

24, Jul, 2022 @6:00 AM

Article image
Mark Meadows’ associate threatened ex-White House aide before her testimony
It was the second warning Cassidy Hutchinson had received before her deposition, cautioning her against cooperating with the panel

Hugo Lowell in Washington and Martin Pengelly in New York

01, Jul, 2022 @3:32 PM

Article image
Ex-White House aide delivers explosive public testimony to January 6 panel
Cassidy Hutchinson tells committee Trump knowingly directed armed supporters to march to the Capitol

Lauren Gambino and Hugo Lowell in Washington

29, Jun, 2022 @1:53 PM

Article image
House panel says Trump ‘chose not to act’ during attack on US Capitol
Committee investigating January 6 riots shared testimony showing that ex-president rejected pleas from even his family

Joan E Greve in Washington

22, Jul, 2022 @5:35 AM

Article image
Republican says he ‘fears for the future’ if Trump is not charged over Jan 6 riot
Adam Kinzinger said in an interview the former president should be charged with conspiracy over the insurrection

Edward Helmore in New York

01, Jan, 2023 @10:08 PM