Senator and presidential candidate Ted Cruz, showing a willingness to buck the establishment and indeed tradition, went on the Senate floor and called Senate leader Mitch McConnell a liar. This is contrary to Senate Rule XIX: “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,” and is punishable by an order to “sit down and shut up” (which did not occur in this case…).
The issue in question was an accusation by Cruz that McConnell has told the press there was no deal to allow a vote to renew the federal Export-Import bank, which is litte known outside of the financial world but a point of controversy in conservative circles. Cruz delivered his remarks moments after McConnell announced a vote on the Export-Import Bank in the coming days.
Cruz said “…It saddens me to say this. I sat in my office, I told my staff the majority leader looked me in the eye and looked 54 Republicans in the eye. I cannot believe he would tell a flat-out lie…”
We believe Cruz may be taking a cue from the Trump camp and will be making more bold moves in defense of his principles as his presidential campaign continues. Not that Cruz is a stranger to bold moves. Cruz took a lot of heat for causing a 16-day government shutdown in 2013, standing up for his values, rallying conservative support and filibustering budget discussions.
Most presidential candidates try to avoid controversy since conventional wisdom says they should appear “presidential.” With Trump’s acceptance of controversy and his current lead in the polls, other candidates may have more leeway in generating press through controversy, and Cruz is certainly adept.
Cruz’s strategy appears to be paying off, his SuperPAC Keep the Promise just garnered support from two Texas oil billionaires Farris and Dan Wilkes to the tune of $15 million.