He’s been referred to as the “Cruz missile,” and today the senator from Texas took dead aim at a top GOP colleague often associated with the Republican establishment that conservatives distrust.
Solemnly saying that “today is a sad day for this institution,” Senator and presidential hopeful Ted Cruz took to the floor of the upper chamber on Friday and delivered a verbal broadside to his own party’s leadership, accusing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of lying.
“The Senate operates based on trust,” said Cruz, who then went on to claim the high-powered Kentucky Republican lied to him repeatedly about having agreed to a deal involving votes for the recently passed Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and an attempt to revive the lapsed authorization for the controversial Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank.
Cruz was unabashed and relentless in his accusation that McConnell falsely denied there was no back-room arrangement regarding support gathered for TPA and the pending move to restart the currently dormant bank. The Ex-Im Bank is billed as an independent federal agency that helps U.S. companies expand their overseas sales.
The Texas senator even went so far as to charge that McConnell has engaged in “the same procedural abuse” that his predecessor, Harry Reid, “did over and over and over again.”
A Politico piece on the extraordinary Cruz floor speech says that the GOP senator’s outburst was a rare and stunning break with the “traditions of the usually decorous chamber.” Publicly calling out a colleague in such a direct and accusatory fashion is generally considered a no-no.
In a scathing floor speech, the Texas firebrand accused the Senate majority leader of breaking his word to him and the rest of the GOP conference over McConnell’s plans for the controversial Export-Import Bank, the country’s chief export credit agency. In Cruz’s telling, McConnell privately promised him and other Republicans that “there was no deal” with a handful of senators who were seeking to revive the bank in exchange for their votes to advance a major trade bill in May.
While Ted Cruz is often considered a firebrand known for speaking his mind and not worrying about ticking off the GOP establishment, for him to go in front of his fellow senators as well as the C-Span audience with this kind of harsh accusation could be called a “shocker” by a lot of people, even Cruz fans.
Some might wonder if Cruz — lagging far behind his GOP rivals in most presidential polls — could be taking a cue from the wildly outspoken Donald Trump, who has certainly gained attention and popularity of late with his bold and brazen accusations. Of course, contrary to the style in which Trump tends to shoot from what you might call “the verbal hip,” Sen. Cruz was more measured and methodical in laying out his argument that Mitch McConnell is a scheming, manipulative liar.
By clicking on the video above, you can see for yourself what Ted Cruz had to say that has caused such a media stir on a Friday afternoon and could prove to be “the shot heard round the Senate” in a new battlefront between staunch conservatives and the power-wielding establishment.
What do you think? Was Cruz out of line or on the mark in his criticism of Mitch McConnell? Join the conversation by leaving your comment below.
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth