Politicians are notorious for accusing each other of lying and cheating, but it’s rare that a Senator attacks someone from his or her own party — especially the majority leader. But that’s exactly what presidential candidate Ted Cruz did to Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell on the floor of the Senate on Friday.
According to Reuters, Ted Cruz accused McConnell of lying about a $340 billion transportation bill. The first-term Senator claimed the party leader was rallying the Republican majority to serve large corporations and lobbyists by moving to reauthorize the U.S. Export-Import Bank — a move Mitch McConnell supposedly promised Ted Cruz he wouldn’t make earlier this year.
“What we just saw today was an absolute demonstration that not only what he told every Republican senator, but what he told the press over and over and over again was a simple lie,” said Ted Cruz. “We now know 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.”
The U.S. Export-Import Bank charter expired on June 30 and is slated to be renewed thanks to a motion supported by both Republicans and Democrats. But Ted Cruz, who is adamantly opposed to the idea, is using McConnell’s alleged lie as leverage to fight the measure.
You can see Ted Cruz attack the Republican leader in the Yahoo! video below:
“It saddens me to say this. I sat in my office, I told my staff the majority leader looked me in the eye and looked 54 Republicans in the eye. I cannot believe he would tell a flat-out lie.”
But Ted Cruz’s accusations didn’t stop there. Mitch McConnell also promised the Senator a vote on the repeal of Obamacare, which Ted Cruz is now calling a meaningless act of political theater and “an empty show vote—that’s a good way of distracting from whats really going on.”
The Atlantic called Ted Cruz’s accusation a cry for attention, especially in the midst of all the buzz surrounding another Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump. Ted Cruz is frequently in the news for his brazen right-wing views defending Christianity and railing against climate change, but Cruz has lately fallen off the radar. Some analysts are suggesting his decision to turn against the leader of his own party is a calculated political move to put himself back in the public eye.
Unsurprisingly, other Republicans weren’t too thrilled about Cruz’s accusations. Senator Orrin Hatch from Utah suggested to reporters that Mitch McConnell never made the promise and hinted that Ted Cruz was only picking a fight to gain press attention.
“I think it’s wrong to disclose private information, especially when the disclosure is not accurate,” Hatch said. “Keep in mind, he’s running for president. People who run for president do some very interesting things.”
Do you think Ted Cruz had ulterior motives for attacking McConnell?
[Image credit: Getty]