Business & Lobbying

Cruz doubles down on McConnell attack

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) doubled-down Sunday in his attacks on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

Cruz on Friday accused McConnell of lying to him about whether he had agreed to allow Democrats a vote on extending the Export-Import Bank during negotiations earlier this summer on trade legislation.

{mosads}On Sunday, he repeated the charge — which McConnell and his allies have criticized.

“On Friday I gave an unusual speech, a speech unlike any I have given in this chamber. It was not a speech I was happy to give,” said Cruz, a Republican presidential candidate. “I described an explicit promise the majority leader had made to me and to all 53 Republican senators.”

He said that McConnell made a promise “in front of every Republican senator” while “looking me in the eyes [that] there was no deal on the Export-Import Bank.”

“We saw on Friday that promise was false,” Cruz said. “That promise was made and that promise was broken.”

Cruz said that McConnell took steps to “force a vote to reauthorize the Export-Import bank and they were directly contrary to the promises the majority leader made to all 53 Republicans.”

“My saying so [on Friday] may be uncomfortable but it is a simple fact,” Cruz said.

He also responded to critics.

“I would note that it is entirely consistent with decorum and with the nature of this body traditionally as the world’s greatest deliberative body to speak the truth,” Cruz said. “Speaking the truth about actions is entirely consistent with civility.”

Asked if he went too far during his Friday speech, Cruz instead blasted the press for not writing about whether McConnell lied about a deal.

“I would note that on the discussion of my speech on Friday, there have been no stories written about whether in fact of Mitch McConnell told the truth,” he said. “None of you have written the story about whether, as to whether he told the truth or lied, the substantive story.”

–Jordain Carney contributed to this report, which was updated at 5:08 p.m.

Tags Export-Import Bank Mitch McConnell Ted Cruz
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