CNN host Chris Cuomo loves mess — whether it’s calling “bullshit” on-air, or providing us with a COVID-19 stream of consciousness from his basement. And *mess* is. exactly what transpired during a Wednesday night segment featuring Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who came on the show to discuss an impending Supreme Court battle and his upcoming book. Instead, Cruz’s visit turned into a heated back and forth between the host and the senator, who exchanged personal jabs. But it was Cuomo who won the tournament when he questioned Cruz about his support for a president, who has repeatedly insulted him, his father, and his wife.
“The old Ted Cruz, who he called Lyin’ Ted when he wasn’t insulting your wife and father. What happened to that, Ted? I don’t know if he changed or just you changed, for some reason,” said Cuomo. The CNN host referred to the 2016 Republican presidential primary, during which Trump repeatedly insulted Cruz and his wife, while also pushing a strange (and false) conspiracy theory that Cruz’s father, Rafael Cruz was involved in John F. Kennedy’s assassination.
Cuomo pointed this out when noting President Donald Trump’s record of defending white nationalists, particularly after Trump refused to disavow the violent, far right Proud Boys during the first presidential debate Tuesday night. As Cruz pointed the finger at Democratic nominee Joe Biden, who he said “eulogized a klansman” in 2010, Cuomo questioned why Cruz has become such a fervent supporter of the president.
Then, the whole exchange devolved into a heated match between Cuomo and Cruz, with jabs about New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic in the state, and Cuomo in-turn questioning why Cruz has become a sycophant to the president.
“It all troubles me, Ted, to watch guys like you stand by and stroke your beard like a wise man, instead of telling the president to get on it when you have power,” Cuomo went on.
After Cruz responded, telling Cuomo to tell his “brother to get on it,” the exchange really got messy. “My brother will stand for his own record. Why don’t you talk to the president like you talk to my brother?” Cuomo responded. “You afraid of him? You think he’ll smack you down at home?”
“My brother’s not the president,” he continued. “I’m talking about the president. The one who called you a liar, the one who said your wife was ugly! That guy. The one you won’t say anything about.”
It’s true that Trump, among other things, called Cruz’s wife “ugly” during his 2016 campaign (and he didn’t even delete the tweet). But Cruz, who was then a Trump rival and called him “utterly amoral” and a “pathological liar” has since become an ally to the president, as a figurehead for Trump’s impeachment defense team. More recently, he has gone on to defend the president’s tax records and is making a case to immediately fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
But Trump’s comment about Cruz’s own wife didn’t stop him from taking her to dinner with the president (awkward!), so it likely won’t stop him for any other reason. In case you need a palate cleanser from the rest of the news, you can watch the full video of their exchange here:
“Chris, do you actually want to talk substance?” @TedCruz asks @ChrisCuomo.
“We are talking substance. I just like to call out the hypocrisy…because the audience heads stay on straight that way,” replies the host amid an interview ranging from the debate to Covid-19 testing. pic.twitter.com/XOaVrHxVjD
— Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) October 1, 2020
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