Ted Cruz surprised Democrats and Republicans alike when he called Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a liar from the Senate floor. In an impassioned speech, Cruz accused McConnell of shady backroom bargaining as well as failing to keep promises.
“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 (Tex.) said. “That has consequences for how this body operates.”
The speech was an unusual move given that Cruz is a Republican, and typically members of the same party do not express this level of discontent publically. It is also rare to see a legislator break the somewhat formal decorum the Senate typically operates at.
Cruz, perhaps jealous of the attention his fellow presidential hopefuls have been receiving, spent 20 minutes ripping into McConnell. On Sunday, Republicans loyal to McConnell had some choice words for the Texas Senator. Orrin Hatch, (R-UT), especially did not mince words:
“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, the Senate’s president pro tempore.
Between Trump, Bush and Rubio, Cruz has been receiving little headlines as of late. Some view Cruz’s tirade as an attempt to put himself back in the spotlight.
Cruz’s decision to go ballistic on the Senate floor comes as he—and everyone else not named Donald Trump—has struggled to attract attention on the crowded campaign trail, and as many of his rivals for the GOP nomination have turned increasingly desperate to do so.
One thing is for sure: Ted Cruz is definitely off Mitch McConnell’s Christmas card list.[Washington Post] [The Guardian] [Slate] [Image via Reuters]