Tom Cotton has described The New York Times as having ‘totally surrendered to a woke child mob from their own newsroom’, using his speech to CPAC to furiously denounce the paper following a commotion over his op ed this summer.
The Arkansas senator mocked the paper’s staff as ‘little social justice warriors’ who were ‘marinated in the language of the campus seminar room’ and were ‘sitting on futons’ claiming to be offended by his words.
Cotton, 43, infuriated many of the paper’s staff with his article during the George Floyd protests, entitled: Send In the Troops.
Tom Cotton addressed the CPAC conference in Orlando on Friday afternoon
The article was published on June 3: many of the staff complained vociferously, and on June 7 James Bennet, the editorial page editor, resigned and the publisher, A.G. Sulzberger, apologized to staff for ‘a significant breakdown in our editing processes.’
Cotton, a hardline supporter of Donald Trump, said on Friday that he stood by the piece.
‘I wrote an op-ed, it had a very simple message, very simple, very common sense message. Grounded in American history and law, supported by a majority of Americans, arguing very simply that if the police cannot, especially if they are not allowed to restore order, then it is time to send in the troops,’ he said, to applause from attendees at the conservative gathering.
Cotton said that his article sparked ‘total meltdown with the little social justice warriors at The New York Times.’
Cotton’s op ed was published by The New York Times on June 3, with a note added later
He continued, according to The New York Post: ‘All these children, they’ve been marinated in the language of the campus seminar room.
‘They said things like, ‘Your words put my life at risk.’
‘As if typing on their phones, sitting on futons was as dangerous as being a cop trying to stop rioters in the streets.’
The Conservative Political Action Conference, known as CPAC, is being held in Orlando this year.
Trump is due to speak on Sunday afternoon, and the annual gathering is dominated by his allies.
Mitch McConnell, Nikki Haley, Mitt Romney and Liz Cheney will not appear: Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump Jr will.
Cotton, widely seen as a rival to Trump for the 2024 nomination, was cheered by the audience as he heaped scorn on the journalists’ concerns.
‘I’m sorry kiddo, words are words,’ he said, ‘Violence is what your friends are doing out on the streets of America.’
Cotton on Friday mocked The New York Times reporters as thin-skinned ‘children’ on futons
Cotton said that the editors then ‘caved and rolled over and apologized’.
He continued: ‘Some people on the left even called for me to apologize. So let me say again, I will never apologize for defending America.’
Cotton, an Army veteran who served in the Iraq War and who’s a potential 2024 Republican presidential contender, told the audience that ‘when America is under assault and conservatives are under attack, we will never retreat. We will never surrender.’
During his CPAC speech on Friday, Cotton also criticized COVID restrictions still in place in Democrat-run cities such as Washington DC, which forced the annual gathering to move to Florida, instead of its usual site.
‘Maybe if CPAC had promised to burn down buildings and tear down statues, they would have let us up there,’ Cotton said, mocking the riots in DC over the summer.
He embraced CPAC’s theme, which this year is ‘America Uncanceled’, and spoke out against what he described as Democrat ‘cancel culture’.
‘Many on the left have concluded that America is a fundamentally flawed, irredeemable, wicked place,’ he said.
‘They have a lot of names for it. But whatever banner it flies under, it gets back to that anti-American idea.’