Ted Cruz, a man so deeply disliked that his iPhone refuses to let him take selfies, has been trying to explain why his request for federal disaster relief after a terrible hurricane is totally different from that time a couple of blue states in the Northeast needed federal disaster relief after a terrible hurricane.
Would it shock you to learn that these explanations by Cruz, who is so unpopular that his only Valentine’s Day card came from a homeless man who felt sorry for him, do not exactly, uh, hold water? Congratulations, your reward is that you never, ever have to spend time around Ted Cruz.
Katy Tur tried to pin down the senator on MSNBC on Monday. It was a bit of a struggle since Cruz is so loathsome that everyone in the Senate pretends to be asleep when he walks into the chamber. But it’s her job, and she’s a trooper:
“A lot of people are pointing out that you voted against aid for Sandy after that catastrophic storm up in the Northeast — that package back in 2012. And they’re pointing at you and saying you’re asking for money now when you weren’t willing to help the people in the Northeast. What do you have to say to them?”
Cruz, a man so widely loathed that his Facebook page is just a 404 error, could give an honest answer and say, Well Katy, at the time Barack Obama was president and my constituents hated Barack Obama and sent me to Washington to oppose everything he wanted, even at the expense of our long-held civic norms that despite our differences, we as Americans have a responsibility to look out for each other, and when one section of the country hurts, we all hurt.
Instead, Cruz said this:
“Well, look, there’s time for political sniping later.”
Nervy! He tried to continue, but Tur was not having it:
TUR: It’s not really political sniping, senator. These are people who needed money and who needed funding right after that storm. I covered those people. Many of them, just like those in Houston, lost absolutely everything they owned.
CRUZ: Well Katy, Katy, of course that’s right, and the accurate thing to say is that I and a number of others enthusiastically and emphatically supported hurricane relief. Hurricane relief and disaster relief has been a vital federal role for a long, long time and it should continue. The problem with that particular bill was it became a fifty-billion-dollar bill that was filled with unrelated pork. Two-thirds of that bill had nothing to do with Sandy. […] Disaster relief needs to be focused on the victims of disaster relief, and I supported that for Sandy, disaster relief there, and I would support that anywhere there’s a major disaster without getting distracted by […] political, unnecessary pork spending.
Let’s stop right there so we can explain that the most unpopular person to stroll through Washington, D.C., since the British occupied it in 1814 is all kinds of wrong.
The $50 billion bill he’s referencing was not two-thirds unrelated “pork spending,” as Cruz would know if he read the Congressional Research Services report on the bill, assuming he’s not so disliked that even the CRS report would refuse to get near him. Or Cruz could read thorough debunkings of this talking point here and here.
Cruz has tried to explain that when he said “pork,” he was referring to the pace of the spending since much of the $50 billion was earmarked for long-term projects to mitigate possible damage from future Sandy-like storms and upgrade forecasting equipment. This is a) not pork and b) a pretty cheap justification. All of a sudden Cruz, a man so unpopular that pigs write wills demanding they not be fed to him, wants the federal government to spend money more quickly so he’ll be okay with it?
TUR: Is your family okay?
CRUZ: Thankfully, our family is okay. We have a number of friends […]
No, you don’t. You’re Ted Cruz, a man so universally despised that the New Jersey Turnpike feels sorry for you.
Watch the entire video below.