Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz grew visibly annoyed on Wednesday when Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) began to grill them at a Senate hearing on the nuclear agreement with Iran.
The Texas conservative, who is running for president, first drew Kerry’s ire by attempting to trick the secretary of state into apologizing to the people killed by Iranian commander Qassim Suleimani. The commander became a focal point for opposition to the Iran deal after critics mistakenly alleged that the agreement would require the U.S. to lift sanctions against Suleimani.
“Senator, I never said the word ‘apology,'” Kerry said to Cruz. “Please, don’t distort my words.”
But the rebuke landed perfectly in Cruz’s trap. The senator turned the tables on Kerry and, with a heavy dose of sarcasm, said it had been “duly noted you don’t apologize to the family members of the servicemembers murdered by Suleimani.”
According to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran is essentially financing terrorism. And he’s not backing down after the president called his comments “outrageous.”
“If this deal is consummated, it will make the Obama administration the world’s leading financier of radical Islamic terrorism,” Cruz said during a round table Tuesday. “Billions of dollars under control of this administration will flow into the hands of jihadists who will use that money to murder Americans, to murder Israelis, to murder Europeans.”
Cruz has said the remarks before.
On Monday, Obama responded to criticism of the deal. He also addressed Cruz’s comments, and others from members of GOP lawmakers, calling them “outrageous attacks” that crossed the line.
Mitch McConnell currently has all seventy of his chins flapping about in a fit over Cruz and his lack of willingness to be polite to people who don’t deserve it. You will not find many examples of Senator Cruz being impolite to people who don’t deserve it, by the way.
The prevailing sentiment among anti-Cruz Republicans is that he stirs things up simply because he has a big ego and likes the attention. In reality, he is bringing some Goldwater-esque swagger back to the Senate just in time to perhaps save the Republicans from themselves. Harry Reid wasn’t much for capitulation when he was Majority Leader, but Mitch McConnell’s memory seems to be nonexistent, as he wakes up every day already bent over backwards for the Democrats.
Cruz makes people uncomfortable, and that is his real sin in a city where those in the hometown industry are more interested in getting along at the next work-related happy hour than whatever the regular Americans are worried about.
Last week, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz caught some heat for saying that Captain Kirk would have been a Republican, and that Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Captain Picard was an incomplete captain, lacking the passion and heart of his predecessor.
I disagree with that, but it’s not what I’m here to talk about. Because what the righteous Trekkie response missed was an addendum to the body text of the article that appeared only in the print version of the New York Times Magazine. It was a list of Ted Cruz’s top five superheroes, and nestled at the bottom of it, after the likes of Spider-Man and Batman, is Rorschach.
I consider myself enough of a Star Trek fan to have an opinion on how our modern ideas of partisan politics would map onto the utopian, post-scarcity society of the Federation. But by laying out his opinions on superheroes, Mr. Cruz has come into my house.
And I do not tolerate people who think Rorschach belongs on a list of great superheroes in my house.
In the seven months since McConnell has assumed the reins of Senate majority leader, he has faced a cadre of problems stemming from a small group of rabble-rousing conservatives who’ve challenged his tactics and strategy. For the most part, he’s been able to move past those disputes, despite some setbacks — largely because most GOP senators find it in their political interest to have a positive relationship with the man in charge of the chamber’s schedule.
Since delivering his blistering floor speech Friday, attacking McConnell in personal terms for “lying” about his deal making, Cruz has grown more alienated within the GOP Conference than ever. The Texas senator has barely spoken a word to McConnell. He most certainly has not buried the hatchet with McConnell — and it’s not clear that he ever will.
Who’s afraid of big, bad Ted Cruz?
Not Lamar Alexander. The Tennessee Republican went on the Senate floor to accuse his fellow Republican of proposing actions that would “render ourselves lawless” and cause “chaos.” Alexander reminded the Texan that the Senate “requires restraint and goodwill.”
Not John Cornyn. The senior senator from Texas said that Cruz’s prescription would be a “terrible mistake” and that if his fellow Texas Republican were making a valid point, “you would find other voices joining that of the junior senator, but I hear no one.”
And certainly not Orrin Hatch. The Utah Republican and Senate president pro tempore said on the Senate floor, in remarks prompted by Cruz, that “squabbling and sanctimony” won’t be tolerated.
“The Senate floor has too often become a forum for partisan messaging,” the veteran legislator inveighed. “It has been misused as a tool to advance personal ambitions, a venue to promote political campaigns and even a vehicle to enhance fundraising efforts” — all of which Cruz has done. “Most egregiously, Mr. President, the Senate floor has even become a place where senators have singled out colleagues by name to attack them in personal terms.”
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is not exactly eating humble pie.
Just a few days after an extraordinary public scolding by three Republican Party leaders on the Senate floor, including fellow Texas Sen. John Cornyn, Cruz is continuing his aggressive anti-Washington campaign.
On Wednesday, he seized the spotlight at a Senate Armed Services Committee and sharply questioned Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz on the nuclear agreement with Iran.
In the afternoon, Cruz chaired a Senate Judiciary Committee subcommittee hearing and railed at IRS Commissioner John Koskinen over his agency’s targeting of conservative groups over their tax-exempt status.
If you don’t punish bad behavior or hold the culprits of said behavior accountable for it, they are bound to do it again. No amount of coddling, pleading or placating will help once the precedent is set. Just ask House Speaker John Boehner how well that tactic has worked since the tea party took over the House in 2011. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has an equally cantankerous caucus. But the senior senator from the Bluegrass State has not been afraid to rap the knuckles of the unruly. And that’s going to help things immeasurably in Washington.
Last Friday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) — a.k.a. “Mr. Congeniality” — basically called McConnell a liar. “We know now that when the majority leader looks us in the eyes and makes an explicit commitment, that he is willing to say things that he knows are false,” Cruz said in a floor speech. The leader’s offense was allowing votes on amendments, including one on the embattled Export-Import Bank. Cruz continued to breathe fire for the Capitol Hill press corps after the vote.
Tucked in the Politico story of the set-to was this nugget. “Asked to comment,” the news site reported Friday, “McConnell smiled and walked away.” That was the day he looked for votes to change the rules so he could get a vote on an amendment related to the Iran nuclear deal. According to Politico, when Cruz got only three of the 11 votes he was looking for, “McConnell, sitting at his desk, turned around and peered at Cruz, who looked stunned at what had just happened.” Revenge is a dish best served cold. Or Sunday, in this case.
With Commissioner John Koskinen seated in front of him on Wednesday, Cruz tore into the agency’s alleged abuses of power—namely its extra scrutiny of Tea Party groups seeking tax-exempt status and its destruction (inadvertent, the agency says) of e-mails sent by Lois Lerner, the former head of the IRS exempt organizations office.
“Richard Nixon’s ghost must have been smiling,” Cruz said, comparing the IRS’ actions to the destruction of audio tapes in the Watergate scandal and pausing to applaud Nixon’s decision to resign. “No politician has the right to use the machinery of the executive branch to target their political enemies.”
The sentiment wasn’t bipartisan. Delaware’s mild-mannered Chris Coons, given the task of following Cruz, said the Texan was basically rehashing debunked conspiracy theories and offering up “unfounded allegations” that anyone in Washington directed targeting of conservative groups.
Sen. Ted Cruz is calling out the “passionately pro-abortion” media for “hiding” videos exposing Planned Parenthood.
On Tuesday, July 28th, Students for Life of America hosted more than 60 #WomenBetrayed rallies across the country to protest Planned Parenthood selling the body parts of aborted babies. Despite the high temperatures, hundreds showed up for the Washington, D.C. rally, which featured several presidential candidates as speakers, including Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).
During the event, MRC Culture asked Sen. Cruz if the the media and journalists have done enough to cover the videos.
“No, of course they’re not,” Cruz began. “The mainstream media wants to do everything they can to hide these videos from the American people.”