By Peter Sullivan - 12/16/13 03:22 PM EST
Many members of the Congressional Black Caucus were curious why Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) decided to join them on a 20-hour flight to South Africa, but Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) said today that she thinks the time together was productive.
Cruz was the only senator, and one of two Republicans, to join the 22-member congressional delegation to Nelson Mandela's memorial service last week. Moore noted today on MSNBC's "Jansing & Co." that many of the other members, such as Reps. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), had personal connections to the issues from working against apartheid.
But she also said there were benefits to having him on the trip. ObamaCare was a particular focus of the discussions. "He sort of stuck to his guns about it, but I do think we were able to break through some of the talking points and really challenge them," Moore said.
Moore had a great chance to get to know Cruz, because she sat next to him on the 40 hours of round-trip flights, in addition to dining and riding on the bus with him.
She said Cruz showed her pictures of his daughters learning to ice skate and helped her get her bags down from the luggage rack.