Reid refuses to apologize for calling Cruz a ‘bully’

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidChris Murphy’s profile rises with gun tragedies Republicans are headed for a disappointing end to their year in power Obama's HHS secretary could testify in Menendez trial MORE (D-Nev.) on Thursday refused to apologize for calling Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzWhatever you think the Alabama special election means, you’re probably wrong This week: Congress gets ball rolling on tax reform Week ahead: Senators work toward deal to fix ObamaCare markets MORE (R-Texas) a “schoolyard bully.”

Asked whether he’d respond to Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeWhatever you think the Alabama special election means, you’re probably wrong How the effort to replace ObamaCare failed Overnight Regulation: Trump temporarily lifts Jones Act for Puerto Rico | Bill would exempt some banks from Dodd-Frank | Senators unveil driverless car bill MORE’s (R-Utah) request that he apologize, Reid offered a terse “no.”

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“When you accuse a colleague of being a schoolyard bully, you certainly don’t mean it as a compliment,” Lee said Tuesday evening. “I would encourage the majority leader to come down here and explain what he meant to say. ... Many of us say things we regret, and that's what apologies are for."

Lee also said Reid’s insult violated Senate rules that prohibit personal insults on the floor.

Reid made the remarks on Monday after Cruz blocked the creation of a House-Senate budget conference committee. Cruz had wanted Democrats to agree to no new taxes in the budget before the conference started.

Reid said because Cruz was on the losing side of the budget debate, he wanted to hold up the process and put limits on conferees.

“My friend from Texas is like a schoolyard bully,” Reid said Monday evening. “He pushes everybody around and is losing. And instead of playing the game according to the rules, he not only takes the ball home with him, but he changes the rules that way no one wins except the bully who tries to indicate to people that he has won.”