Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, May 7, 2013
Ted Cruz is finding out the hard way this week that being a potential presidential candidate in 2016 isn’t all fun and games.
First, former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson says that the Texas Republicans shouldn’t be “defined as a Hispanic” on national TV for his views on immigration. Now a top Democrat in Washington – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) – has resorted to antagonizing the freshman senator, calling him a “schoolyard bully” and the “very junior Senator from Texas” while speaking from the Senate floor.
“My friend from Texas is like a schoolyard bully,” Reid said Monday during a heated debate over a motion to go to conference over the two chambers’ budgets. “He pushes everybody around and is losing, and instead of playing the game according to the rules, he not only takes the ball home with him but changes the rules. That way no one wins except the bully who tries to indicate to people he has won. We’re asking Republicans to play by the rules and let us go to conference.”
Cruz fired back at Reid, saying, “I wasn’t aware we were in a schoolyard.” He had called on Reid to insert instructions into the budget negotiations that would prohibit raising taxes or the debt ceiling, and later to resubmit a conference resolution that included a guarantee that the reconciliation bill wouldn’t address the debt ceiling.
Just a day later, Reid decided to take another potshot at Cruz, belittling his status as the junior senator from Texas before generalizing his insult from the previous night to include all Republicans.
“Last night the very junior senator from Texas said Republicans would agree to go to conference only if Democrats first would give in to their demands,” Reid quipped on the Senate floor Tuesday afternoon. “What were those demands? Well, they want more job-killing budget cuts.”
“In other words, Republicans refuse to play the game unless we let them win,” he added. “Mr. President, the rules are set. We know what the rules are. So let’s get down and go for it with the rules. But they’re not willing to do that. Like schoolyard bullies, if the Republicans can’t win, they’ll take the ball and go home.”
Red Alert Politics has reached out to Cruz’s staff for a comment and will provide that as soon as it is available.
Cruz’s Republican colleague, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, has also called on Reid to apologize for his comments.
“When you accuse a colleagues of being a schoolyard bully, you certainly don’t mean it as a compliment,” Lee told The Hill Tuesday evening. “Sometimes in a moment of weakness we say things that we meant to say, but shouldn’t have. If in fact the Majority Leader slipped and said something he didn’t mean to say … then I invite him to come forward and I’m confident that my friend the junior senator from Texas will promptly and frankly accept his apology.