Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is nothing if not a ... well, even we hate to come right out and call someone a hypocrite. We'll let you decide whether that shoe fits.
During his 2016 run for president, he positioned himself first as Donald Trump's best friend, then called Trump a "pathological liar" and pointedly refused to endorse him at the Republican National Convention. Two years later, when it appeared his re-election might be in doubt during his campaign against El Paso U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, Cruz asked Trump to hold one of his mega-rallies in Houston.
Cruz has also strongly supported federal aid for victims of Hurricane Harvey after voting against aid for those affected by Hurricane Sandy. He said he supported legal status for those currently residing in the U.S. illegally in 2013 before saying exactly the opposite in 2015. And he said, despite inspiring the 2013 federal government shutdown, that he has "consistently opposed shutdowns."
When Cruz trotted out that last fiction in January 2018, even Fox News' Shephard Smith couldn't help but make fun of him.
Thursday, Cruz was back at it on the Senate floor during debate over two measures — one each from Republicans and Democrats — that would've reopened the government. The story does not end well for the newly bearded Texan.
“OK, they hate Donald Trump. If anyone in America had missed that point, that they really, really don’t like this man, their yelling, screaming and bellowing has made that abundantly clear,” Cruz said, referring to Democrats. "But just because you hate somebody shouldn’t mean you should shut the government down.”
Because Cruz's 2013 shutdown had absolutely nothing to do with President Barack Obama.
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Following Cruz's comment, Senator Michael Bennet, a Colorado Democrat who usually stays out of the headlines, stepped up to the microphone and laid Cruz out.
“I have worked very hard over the years to work in a bipartisan way with the presiding officer with my Republican colleagues, but these crocodile tears that the senator from Texas is crying for first responders are too hard for me to take,” Bennet said. "When the senator from Texas shut this government down in 2013, my state was flooded. It was under water! People were killed! People’s houses were destroyed! Their small businesses were ruined forever! Because of the senator from Texas, this government was shut down for politics.”
Neither of the shutdown-ending proposals voted on Thursday passed. On Friday, the 35th day since the federal government has been fully open, many federal workers will miss another paycheck.