Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Sunday declined to criticize a controversial new National Rifle Association (NRA) ad, instead charging proponents of gun control with “hypocrisy” in the debate over gun violence.
The freshman Texas Republican was asked on NBC’s “Meet the Press” about the NRA ad released last week which referenced the president’s daughters.
"If you're talking to a single woman living in Anacostia who has the misfortune to live next to a crack house, to tell her she doesn't have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms, I think, is fundamentally wrong," he said.
Cruz accused President Obama of exploiting the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn. to push his own political agenda on gun control.
"What I don't think is constructive is what the president is doing right now, which is within minutes of that horrible tragedy in Newtown the president began trying to exploit that tragedy to push a gun control agenda that is designed to appeal to...his political partisans," he said.
White House spokesman Jay Carney called the ad "repugnant and cowardly" last week.
The ad calls the president an “elitist hypocrite” because he opposes putting armed guards in schools when his daughters are protected by the Secret Service.
The NRA called for a program to place armed guards in the nation’s schools to prevent further massacres such as the one at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. last month.
That attack left 27 dead, including 20 school children and brought a renewed debate over the country’s gun laws.
President Obama last week unveiled a package of executive actions and legislative proposals to help stem future acts of gun violence.
But Cruz said that many of those proposals would not address the real root causes of gun crime.
Cruz hammered Democrats' plan to address the so-called gun show loophole, saying it "doesn't exist."
"There actually isn't the so-called gun show loophole. It doesn't exist. Any licensed firearm dealer that sells at a gun show has to have a background check," he said.
He also voiced strong opposition to others measures in the gun-control plan that President Obama unveiled, which also calls for banning assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.
"Many of the provisions are contrary to the constitutional protections of the Second Amendment, Cruz said.
"The assault weapons ban was one of the least successful bills that's ever been put into place," he added. "This is not designed to actually solve the problem of violent crime. This is designed to assuage liberal partisans who want to push gun control."