O'Donnell Rips Cruz for Response to Obama Criticism on Refugees; ‘Predictable, Childish Bluster’

Roughly 30 minutes after (perhaps appropriately) ripping into the media for their labeling of ISIS terrorist Abdelhamid Abaaoud the “mastermind” of Friday’s Islamic terrorist attacks in Paris, MSNBC’s Last Word host Lawrence O’Donnell struck out against Republican Senator Ted Cruz (Tex.) for engaging in “predictable, childish bluster” by responding to President Obama’s denouncement of his stance on Syrian refugees. 

Following introductions and soundbites from House Speaker Paul Ryan and the President on the issue, O’Donnell remarked that the 2016 GOP candidate “was the first Republican candidate this week to say we should accept only Christian refugees into this country.”

The liberal MSNBC host bloviated that, speaking to reporters, “Cruz reacted to the President's comments with his predictable, childish bluster.”

He then closed the short segment with this clip of Cruz speaking in Washington outside the Capitol Hill Club (in which he looked directly into NBC’s camera):

Well, let me suggest something. Mr. President, if you want to insult me, you can do it overseas, you could do it in Turkey, you can do it in foreign countries, but I would encourage you, Mr. President, to come back and insult me in my face.

The relevant portion of the transcript from MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell on October 18 can be found below.

MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell
November 18, 2015
10:30 p.m. Eastern

LAWRENCE O’DONNELL: Speaking to an audience of French mayors today, French President Francois Hollande announced that France will still accept 30,000 Syrian refugees over the next two years even after at least one of last week’s attackers was found with what authorities believe to be a fake Syrian passport. Here in the U.S., House Speaker Paul Ryan spoke in favor of a bill that would make it more difficult for Syrian refugees to enter this country. 

(....)

O’DONNELL: The White House warned today that President Obama would veto that bill. The White House tweeted: “slamming the door in the face of refugees would betray our deepest values. That's not who we are. And it's not what we're going to do.” Last night, President Obama had strong words for the Republican presidential candidates who oppose allowing Syrian refugees in this country. 

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: ISIL seeks to exploit the idea that there's a war between Islam and the West and when you start seeing individuals in positions of responsibility suggesting that Christians are more worthy of protection than Muslims are in a war-torn land, that feeds the ISIL narrative. [SCREEN WIPE] If these are the same folks often times who suggest they're so tough that just talking to Putin or staring down ISIL or using some additional rhetoric is somehow going to solve the problems out there, but apparently, they're scared of widows and orphans coming into the United States of America as a part of our tradition of compassion. You know, first, they were worried about the press being too tough on them during debates, now they're worried about 3-year-old orphans. That doesn't sound very tough to me. 

O’DONNELL: Ted Cruz was the first Republican candidate this week to say we should accept only Christian refugees into this country. Ted Cruz reacted to the President's comments with his predictable, childish bluster. 

REPUBLICAN SENATOR TED CRUZ (Tex.): Well, let me suggest something. Mr. President, if you want to insult me, you can do it overseas, you could do it in Turkey, you can do it in foreign countries, but I would encourage you, Mr. President, to come back and insult me in my face.


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