Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) sought to divert attention away from “ghost weapons” (firearms made at home without a serial number) during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday.
“If you don’t support abolishing the police, why do you keep voting for nominees who advocate abolishing the police?” Cruz asked his Democratic colleagues. Cruz was referring to Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta and Kristen Clarke, whom President Biden has nominated to run the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) responded to Cruz’s diversion attempt by telling him his words were “a complete distortion of [Gupta’s and Clarke’s] positions” he then added that “we’re not here to talk about those nominees. If you want to stay, we can do it at the end of the hearing, but right now we’re gonna move on.”
"As you well know, Senator Cruz, that is a complete distortion of their positions" — Sen. Blumenthal
(you can then see Cruz walking out of the gun violence hearing) pic.twitter.com/y9eHZFbwnY
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 11, 2021
Cruz then got up and walked out of the session, despite the fact that the timing was obvious, to attend another simultaneous committee meeting.
Cruz made headlines earlier this week when he was publicly challenged in the Senate chamber on Tuesday by two Democratic Senators after he suggested, without any evidence, that automatic voter registration leads to widespread voter fraud.
Senators Jeff Merkley (OR) and Jon Ossoff (GA) challenged Cruz during a Senate Rules Committee hearing on Tuesday when Cruz proposed an amendment to make automatic voter registration more difficult.
“We have many states that have established automatic voter registration. Do you have any studies you want to present for the record that document extensive mistakes being made, which people who are non-citizens are registered to vote?”
Merkley added that the Brennan Center for Justice found that you are “more likely to be struck by lightning” than find widespread fraud after studying the issue for some time.
“If you have evidence to the contrary, I think it would be an appropriate time to present it to the committee.”
Cruz dodged the question in his response:
“Sen. Merkley is one of the authors of the bill as I understand it. I suppose I could ask why he saw fit to repeatedly immunize state officials from registering illegal immigrants if it were not that the obvious and intended effect of this bill was to register millions of illegal immigrants?”
To which Merkley responded:
“Does the senator have documentation he wishes to submit to the committee?”
“Sen. Merkley is declining to answer,” Cruz said, trying to accuse Merkley of exactly what he himself was doing.
Ossoff chimed into Cruz another chance to provide and “evidence” of his voter fraud claim:
“I’d like to offer you the opportunity in good faith, Sen. Cruz, to present any evidence for the record to this committee that in any of the states where this policy exists, if there’s any widespread registration by people who should not be eligible to vote.”
Cruz again deflected and failed to provide anything to back up with the claim:
“I’m very glad that Democratic senators are suggesting illegal immigrants won’t be registered to vote. If that’s the case, you should support this amendment. Because this amendment would be supporting what you claim are the purposes of the bill.”
The amendment was defeated by a 9-9 vote along party lines in the end.