CNN host Chris Cuomo on Thursday ripped top Republicans for not coming on the network in the wake of a mass shooting in Florida, claiming they didn't want to be asked about gun violence.
"What are they afraid of?" Cuomo said on CNN's "New Day." "The mistake we've been making is, we don't say by name the lawmakers of that particular state and what they have done or refused to do. So this morning, let's undo the mistake."
The CNN host criticized Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) for "actively fighting to penalize" Florida doctors who ask patients whether they own firearms. He also went after GOP Sens. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioWisconsinites need infrastructure that is built to last Republicans struggle to save funding for Trump's border wall Rubio: Dropping FARC from terrorist list threatens Colombians, US security MORE (Fla.) and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate nearing deal on defense bill after setback Congress's goal in December: Avoid shutdown and default Overnight Defense & National Security — US, Iran return to negotiating table MORE (Texas) over their response to the shooting.
"Rubio calls it an inexplicable tragedy. It is the most easily explained tragedy you can have. He knows why this happens," Cuomo said. "Then you have Ted Cruz. None would come on this morning."
"They're all on Fox, the mothership, because they don't want to be asked about this," the CNN host said. "What are they afraid of?"
The host thanked his guest, former Rep. David Jolly (R-Fla.), for coming on the show when he said other Republicans would not.
"Jolly, you would, but you're on the right side of this argument," he said.
Cruz rebuffed the network's graphic shown during the program asking what he and the other Republicans were afraid of, citing his multiple appearances for townhall debates on CNN against a liberal opponent.
Critics have slammed Republican lawmakers for not discussing taking action on gun violence after a gunman opened fire at a high school in Florida on Wednesday, killing 17 students and faculty and injuring more than a dozen others.
During a Fox News appearance Thursday, Cruz warned that renewed calls for increased gun legislation was "not the right answer."
"The reaction of Democrats to any tragedy is to try to politicize it," he said. "So they immediately start calling that we've got to take away the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens."
Rubio also cautioned lawmakers against trying to come up with new gun laws in the aftermath of the Florida shooting, telling senators on the chamber floor Thursday that a law could not have stopped the tragedy and that shooters "will find a way to get the gun to do it."