Tags: Ted Cruz | cruz | mcconnell | liar | republicans | blast

Fellow Republicans Slam Cruz for Calling McConnell Liar on Senate Floor

By    |   Sunday, 26 Jul 2015 10:42 PM

Sen. Ted Cruz doubled down on his criticism of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Sunday after senior Republican senators criticized him for calling McConnell a liar on Friday.

The anger at Cruz, a 2016 Republican presidential candidate, came after the Texan called McConnell a liar on Friday for allowing a vote on an amendment to a highway funding bill that would re-charter the U.S. Export-Import Bank.

Cruz complained that McConnell, who also opposes the Ex-Im Bank, had promised him and other Republicans that there would be no deal to allow the Ex-Im amendment.

"I cannot believe he would tell a flat-out lie," Cruz said during a floor speech Friday.

Later the same day, Cruz appeared on Rush Limbaugh's syndicated radio show, where he said, "Back when we were having the fight over trade promotion authority, I asked Mitch McConnell directly if he had cut a deal to reauthorize this cronyism and corporate welfare in order to try to get the votes, and he looked at me, he looked at all 54 Republican senators, and he said flat-out, 'There is no deal. There is no deal. There is no deal.'"

In his Senate floor speech, Cruz compared McConnell's repeating of the phrase to the Apostle Peter, who three times denied Christ.

Sens. Orrin Hatch of Utah, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and John Cornyn of Texas all took to the floor during a rare Sunday session to denounce Cruz before advancing the Ex-Im amendment on a 67-26 vote.

"Regrettably, in recent times, the Senate floor has too often become a forum for partisan messaging," said Hatch said. "Squabbling and sanctimony may be tolerated in other venues and perhaps on the campaign trail, but they have no place among colleagues in the United States Senate,” said Hatch, a likely reference to Cruz's presidential campaign.

"The Senate floor has even become a place where senators have singled out colleagues by name to attack them … and impugn their character in blatant disregard for Senate rules," Hatch added. "Such misuses of the Senate floor must not be tolerated."

"It has been used as a tool to advance personal ambitions, a venue to promote political campaigns, and even a vehicle to enhance fundraising efforts, all at the expense of the proper functioning of this body," said Hatch, who didn't mention Cruz by name.

Cruz responded moments later, saying he agreed with Hatch's call for civility and decorum. But, he said, "speaking the truth about actions is entirely consistent with civility."

Cruz argued "it is entirely consistent with decorum and with the nature of this body traditionally as the world's greatest deliberative body, to speak the truth."

"On Friday I gave an unusual speech, a speech unlike any I have given in this chamber. It was not a speech I was happy to give," said Cruz. "I described an explicit promise the majority leader had made to me and to all 53 Republican senators."

Asked by The Hill  whether he had gone too far in Friday's speech, Cruz said he had not, and accused the press of not focusing on the main issue: whether McConnell lied.

"I would note that on the discussion of my speech on Friday, there have been no stories written about whether in fact of Mitch McConnell told the truth," Cruz said. "None of you have written the story about whether as to whether he told the truth or lied, the substantive story."

 

Cruz 'Mistaken'

 

Sen. John Cornyn, the second-ranking Senate Republican, said Cruz was "mistaken" in contending that McConnell had misrepresented plans regarding the Ex-Im Bank to other Republicans.

If McConnell had, "I suspect you would find other voices joining that of the junior senator," added Cornyn, the senior senator from Texas.

In opening the Sunday session, McConnell said that "when there is overwhelming bipartisan support for an idea, even if I oppose it, it doesn't require some 'special deal' to see a vote occur on that measure."

"This is the United States Senate, after all, where we debate and vote on all kinds of different issues," McConnell said.

Also on Sunday, senators refused to support a maneuver by Cruz to skirt a procedural rule blocking an Iran-related amendment he sought to add to the highway bill. The measure would have blocked sanctions relief to Iran until the Islamic Republic recognized Israel's right to exist and freed four Americans who are missing or being held there.

Bloomberg News contributed to this report.

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Sen. Ted Cruz doubled down on his criticism of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Sunday after senior Republican senators criticized him for calling McConnell a liar on Friday. The anger at Cruz, a 2016 Republican presidential candidate, came after the Texan called McConnell...
cruz, mcconnell, liar, republicans, blast
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2015-42-26
Sunday, 26 Jul 2015 10:42 PM
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