The normally slick Senator Ted Cruz sounded like a scratched CD skipping on a laser when he was confronted on live TV with his own words.
Perhaps Senator Cruz thought that appearing on the home team’s network, Fox News, would be the easy ride it had been for him in the past – but Fox likely understands that the firebrand senator is unelectable outside of the blood red states and did their part to further the case currently being made by establishment friend Marco Rubio.
Cruz and Rubio clashed at the Republican debate on Tuesday night over Cruz’s past support for the so-called “Gang of Eight” immigration bill. Rubio – who has his own immigration flip flop skeletons in the closest – has claimed that Cruz backed legalization for undocumented immigrants, called “amnesty” nowadays among immigration hardline Republicans.
Cruz claims that this is a fabrication, and told Fox News anchor Bret Baier, “I’ve never supported legalization, I do not intend to support it.”
Baier showed video of Cruz promoting his amendment to the bill, and Cruz claimed the provision would “remove citizenship.” Then Baier dug deeper into the well.
“The fact that I introduced an amendment to remove part of the Gang of Eight bill doesn’t mean I support the rest of the Gang of Eight bill,” he added.
But Baier replied with a series of statements Cruz made in 2013 that indicated he wanted the rest of the bill to pass. He quoted the Texas Republican calling the legislation “the compromise that can pass” and saying: “If my amendment were adopted, this bill would pass.”
Cruz stammered in his response, saying that “of course I wanted my amendment to pass. … It doesn’t mean I supported other aspects of the bill.”
The stammering was not a good look for Cruz, and it makes him look like an immigration turncoat on the very channel that has done so much to whip up anti-immigrant sentiment over the last decade.
Rubio of course also flip-flopped on immigration, betraying his promise to fellow Latinos for reform in order to pander to the nativist racists that influence so much of Republican party politics. But whereas Cruz stammers when caught, Rubio has the training to launch into a speech that deflects away from the reality of his pander politics.
The game is on, and Cruz is behind.
Featured image via YouTube