Senate

Ted Cruz confronted by O’Rourke supporter on plane about Uvalde

A man confronted Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) on an airplane flight on Thursday about the senator not supporting stricter gun legislation in the aftermath of the Uvalde school shooting that killed 19 students and two teachers in May.

A video posted on the man’s Twitter account shows Cruz getting his belongings after the flight landed in Houston. In the video, the man first jokes, “We’re in Houston? I thought we were going to Cancun,” an apparent reference to Cruz taking a family vacation to the Mexican city while intense winter storms caused many Texas residents to lose power in February. 

After Cruz takes off his earbuds, the man tells him, “Senator, thank you for everything you’ve done since Uvalde. All those podcast episodes must have raised a lot of money for you.” 

Cruz co-hosts a podcast called “Verdict” in which he discusses major political issues and news. 

The man’s name on Twitter is listed as “Beto For Everyone,” referencing Texas Democratic gubernatorial nominee Beto O’Rourke. Cruz narrowly defeated O’Rourke for his Senate seat in 2018. 

Congress passed a bill strengthening federal gun laws after an 18-year-old gunman armed with an AR-15–style rifle opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, roughly 80 miles west of San Antonio. 

The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which President Biden signed in June, enhances background checks for gun buyers ages 18 to 21 and closes the so-called boyfriend loophole in preventing those convicted of a misdemeanor crime involving a current or former romantic partner from obtaining a firearm for at least five years, among other initiatives. 

The bill received bipartisan support in both houses of Congress, but Cruz voted against it. 

Cruz responded to the man that he tried to pass the “most significant school safety bill ever” on Wednesday, but that Democrats objected to it. 

Cruz sponsored the Securing Our Schools Act, which would have redirected unspent COVID-19 education funding to spend $15 billion on hiring additional school safety personnel and $10 billion to hire 15,000 additional school-based mental health professionals. Democrats blocked the bill from passing with unanimous consent. 

The man asked how Cruz had time to try to pass the legislation when he was working on his podcast episodes. 

One bystander tells the man recording Cruz to “listen to the man,” meaning Cruz, while another says to “let him fly in peace.” 

The man then asked Cruz if he knows the names of any victims of the Uvalde shooting. Cruz said he does but does not give any, telling the man, “You don’t care about the facts. You’re a partisan, and that’s OK.” 

Cruz reportedly has faced renewed criticism this week after a meeting with the parents of an Uvalde victim where he allegedly looked at a photo of their daughter in a child-sized casket and then refused their request for him to support stricter gun legislation.

Tags beto o'rourke Beto O'Rourke gun legislation Houston Robb Elementary shooting Securing Our Schools Act Ted Cruz Ted Cruz Texas Twitter Uvalde Uvalde shooting
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