Cruz walks out of gun violence hearing after Democrat stops him from hijacking the agenda — disputes reason for leaving
On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on gun violence, including discussion of "ghost guns" — which are illegal firearms that are made at home and don't have a serial number. But Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, during the hearing, wanted to change the subject — and instead of addressing gun violence and "ghost guns," the far-right senator obsessed over Democrats he claimed were trying to "abolish the police."
The slogan "defund the police" was used by some protesters following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis almost a year ago on May 25, 2020. But the term is by no means universally embraced by advocates of criminal justice reform, including those in the Democratic Party. MSNBC's the Rev. Al Sharpton, for example, has said that he opposes defunding the police and favors "reforming the police" instead. But far-right Republicans have been harping on that "defund the police" slogan to scare people, and Cruz takes it a step further by claiming that Democrats want to "abolish the police."
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During the hearing, Cruz asked Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, "If you don't support abolishing the police, why do you keep voting for nominees who advocate abolishing the police?" The nominees Cruz was trying to smear were Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta and attorney Kristen Clarke, who President Joe Biden has nominated for the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division.
Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal, in response, told Cruz, "As you well know, that is a complete distortion of (Gupta and Clarke's) positions. We're not here to talk about those nominees. If you want to stay, we can do it at the end of the hearing. But right now, we're going move on."
As Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California was getting ready to speak, Cruz got up and left the room.
UPDATE: May 12, 2021 — 9:13 AM:
Sen. Ted Cruz on Tuesday tweeted AlterNet's article calling it "fake news," like it's 2016. Of course, Cruz has a history of distorting the truth (some may even call it "lying"), including when he left his home state of Texas in the middle a humanitarian disaster to visit Cancun with his family. Cruz originally claimed he always intended to visit Mexico for less than 12 hours to accompany his daughters before flying back to Texas.
Even so, AlterNet has updated this report and headline to reflect Ted Cruz's claim. You can watch the video for yourself:
"As you well know, Senator Cruz, that is a complete distortion of their positions" -- Sen. Blumenthal (you can th… https://t.co/efqqkqOtFs— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1620744349.0
This is a great example of fake news: The hearing was at the exact same time as the mark-up in the Rules Committee… https://t.co/LCFmqXgDHv— Ted Cruz (@Ted Cruz) 1620759022.0