Texas Senator Ted Cruz shot back at Democrats on Wednesday for their opposition to Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, President Trump’s nominee for attorney general. Responding to Democrats’ “slanderous” attacks, Cruz used the theme of racism against them.
“When the left doesn’t have any other arguments, they go and just accuse everyone of being a racist, and it’s an ugly, ugly part of the modern Democratic Party,” Cruz said during a Fox News interview. “Listen, the Democrats are the party of the Klu Klux Klan.”
The Texas senator expounded upon this point, mentioning a key argument in Dinesh D’Souza’s 2016 film Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party (check out PJ Media’s review here). “You look at the most racists, you look at — the Dixiecrats, they were Democrats who opposed segregation, imposed Jim Crow laws, who founded the Klan, the Klan was founded by a great many Democrats,” Cruz added. “And yet now, they just accuse anyone they disagree with of being a racist.”
The Texas senator’s remarks come after Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren was barred from speaking on the Senate floor Tuesday night after attacking Sessions. This was in accordance with Senate Rule XIX, which stipulates that “No Senator in debate shall, directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator.”
At the time, Warren was quoting a 1986 speech from former Senator Ted Kennedy which called Sessions a “disgrace” to the Justice Department. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Warren’s comments on Sessions broke Senate rules. Specifically, McConnell pointed to Warren’s quoting a letter written by the late Coretta Scott King, a civil rights activist and wife of Martin Luther King, Jr.
In 1986, during Sessions’ failed bid for a federal judgeship, King wrote that Sessions “had used the awesome power of his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens” as U.S. attorney in Alabama.
“The charges that she was making against Jeff Sessions are demonstrably false,” Cruz declared. “They’re slanderous. Jeff Sessions is an honorable, decent person.”
Cruz might have been further emboldened by his debate with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders Tuesday night. In that debate, the Texas senator taught his Vermont colleague a lesson about economics and the U.S. Constitution which left audiences impressed.
Sessions was confirmed as attorney general on Wednesday evening, with one Democrat vote.
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