Ted Cruz, the junior senator from Texas, has spent his first few months in office making enemies on both sides of the aisle. Perhaps this is because the Tea Party hero employs a potent mix of of sanctimonious rhetoric and hatchet-job politics that led one of his fellow GOP senators to call him “Jim DeMint without the charm.” His particular brand of smarminess was on display, for instance, when he delivered a condescending, elementary school-level lecture about the Constitution to Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Or when he explained that he was for gun sales background checks but opposed a bill to expand them because the very real gun-show loophole “doesn’t exist.” Or when he mocked his Republicans colleagues who did support the background check bill, calling them weak “squishes.”
So it was a treat today to stumble across this interview that Cruz gave earlier this month to Red State, in which he explains that if anybody has a problem with him it’s their own fault because, “When others have chosen to insult me, to throw rocks at me, I have not and will not respond in kind.”
“Washington is a place where people often shy away from speaking the truth,” he explained. “And so my focus will remain on the substance...and I think there’s some that don’t like a consistent and explicit focus on the substance of the issue.”
We thought we’d help Sen. Cruz out by highlighting just a few examples of times when he has refrained from throwing rocks and displayed “a consistent and explicit focus on the substance of the issue”:
- When he accused John Kerry and Chuck Hagel – both combat veterans – of being “less than ardent fans of the U.S. military.”
- When he baselessly speculated that Hagel was laundering money from the North Korean government.
- When he warned that “Sharia law is an enormous problem” in the United States.
- When he claimed that when he attended Harvard Law School, there were twelve professors “who believed in the Communists overthrowing the United States government.”
- When he called President Obama “the most radical” president “ever to occupy the Oval Office.”
- When he claimed that the United Nations and George Soros are conspiring to eliminate golf.
- When he objected to a symbolic resolution commemorating International Women’s Day because it acknowledged the existence of climate change.
- When he attacked a fellow Republican Senate candidate for marching in a gay pride parade.
- When he called President Obama “the single biggest obstacle to passing immigration reform”…which Cruz opposes.
- When he falsely claimed that expanding Medicaid would actually “worsen health care options for the most vulnerable.”
- When he objected for no particular reason to a symbolic resolution commemorating Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week.
- When he called the families of children killed in Newtown “political props.”
- And, of course, this: