Ted Cruz Defies Decorum, Calls McConnell a Liar

Surprising attack comes on the Senate floor
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 24, 2015 5:09 PM CDT
Ted Cruz Defies Decorum, Calls McConnell a Liar
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in a file photo.   (AP Photo/Molly Riley)

Ted Cruz stood on the Senate floor today and called his own party leader a liar, a move so unusual that it had both Politico and the Washington Post quoting an old Senate rule that's supposed to forbid such things. The 2016 candidate said this of Mitch McConnell:

  • "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. We know now 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. That has consequences for how this body operates."

Cruz says McConnell went back on his word in allowing a vote to renew the little-known Export-Import Bank, an entity that serves as the government's export credit agency and is reviled by Tea Party conservatives such as Cruz, explains AP. The news agency calls the rebuke a "stunning broadside," the New York Times "an extraordinary public airing of grievance," and the Post adds that Cruz "rushed across a line rarely crossed on the Senate floor." McConnell wasn't on the floor for the slam and declined to comment later. Whether Cruz actually broke Senate rules is up for debate: Rule XIX states: "No Senator in debate shall, directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator." (Read more Ted Cruz 2016 stories.)

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