Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzSenate passes dozens of bills on way out of town Senate passes stopgap funding bill, averting shutdown Senate advances funding measure, avoiding shutdown MORE (R-Texas) on Wednesday squared off with Fox News anchor Bret Baier over comments Cruz made in 2013 as the Senate considered an immigration reform bill.
Baier began the interview by repeating what Cruz said on the subject during Tuesday’s GOP presidential debate: “I’ve never supported legalization, I do not intend to support it.”
The anchor then played a speech Cruz made in 2013 promoting his amendment to an immigration reform measure in which he called on “people of good faith on both sides of the aisle” to pass a bill “that allows those that are here illegally to come in out of the shadows.”
Asked to respond to the clip, Cruz said his amendment would “remove citizenship.”
“The fact that I introduced an amendment to remove part of the Gang of Eight bill doesn’t mean I support the rest of the Gang of Eight bill,” he added.
But Baier replied with a series of statements Cruz made in 2013 that indicated he wanted the rest of the bill to pass. He quoted the Texas Republican calling the legislation “the compromise that can pass” and saying “if my amendment were adopted, this bill would pass.”
Cruz stammered in his response, saying that “of course I wanted my amendment to pass. ... It doesn’t mean I supported other aspects of the bill.”
In an attempt to prove his amendment wasn’t a tacit endorsement of the rest of the bill, Cruz cited the fact that Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) voted with him.
“The problem, though, is that at the time you were telling people ... this was not a poison pill,” Baier said in response. “You said you wanted it to pass at the time. Looking back at what you said then, and what you said now, which one should people believe?”
Cruz told Baier his amendment “illustrated hypocrisy of the Democrats” and “succeeded in defeating” the bill, as the interview wrapped up.