Senator Ted Cruz on Tuesday exposed for the world the hypocrisy of CBS This Morning co-hosts on the issue of... hypocrisy. The journalists introduced the Republican with clips of GOP Senators Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham and Cruz from 2016. All of them called for waiting until the election to fill the late Antonin Scalia’s seat. Co-host Tony Dokoupil underlined the network’s partisan hackery: “Here's what a few Senate Republicans said then about filling the seat on the high court in the heat of a campaign.”
After a clip of Cruz, co-host Anthony Mason needled, “Those were your words four years ago. You don't believe that any more?” Cruz responded by nailing the journalists for their Democratic spin:
If you look at the debate four years ago. Every single political player has switched positions. I looked at your clip of politicians from 2016. You know who you didn't play? Joe Biden. You didn't play Hillary Clinton. You didn't play Nancy Pelosi. You didn’t play Chuck Schumer. Why? Because every one of them is saying exactly the opposite of what they are saying now. Everyone has switched positions. And so the whole promo you're pushing from hypocrisy, if you want to say it, you could say everybody involved in this is a hypocrite.
Cruz doggedly hammered the liberal hypocrisy, reminding, “I listened to your promo and you only played the words of Republicans. I saw your tweet saying Ted Cruz ‘why has he switched his positions?’ And I'm curious when you have Chuck Schumer or Joe Biden on, does your tweet say, ‘Why has Joe Biden switched sides?’”
Here’s the CBS tweet in question Cruz referred to:
CBS This Morning co-hosts actually interviewed Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar on Monday and the answer to Cruz’s question is no. They didn't ask about Democratic hypocrisy Here is that tweet from Monday.
Notice the difference? In the interview, the CBS co-hosts DID NOT press Klobuchar and the Democrats switching positions. Instead, they plotted strategy. Here is King talking to the liberal: “The numbers are against you. So are Democrats putting pressure on Republicans to look in their soul, as you say, to do in your opinion the right thing?”
They didn’t push Klobuchar on positions that could be considered extreme, like aggressive support for abortion. But on Tuesday, King demanded of Cruz: “Are you looking for a justice who will strike down ObamaCare and reverse Roe vs Wade?”
A partial transcript is below.
CBS This Morning
TONY DOKOUPIL: Democrats and other critics accuse Senate Republicans of flip flopping on whether to confirm a new Supreme Court justice during an election year. President Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland in March of 2016 and the Republican controlled Senate never gave him a hearing. Here's what a few Senate Republicans said then about filling the seat on the high court in the heat of a campaign.
SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL: The senate will appropriately revisit the matter after the American people finish making in November the decision they already started making today.
SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: If there's a Republican president in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term you can say Lindsey Graham said let's let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination and you can use my words against me and you would be absolutely right.
SENATOR TED CRUZ: It has been 80 years since a Supreme Court vacancy was nominated and confirmed in an election year. There's a long tradition that you don't do in this an election year.
ANTHONY MASON: Republican Senator Ted Cruz is a member of the Senate Judiciary committee. He'll be part of the confirmation hearings. He also sits on the president's list as prospective nominees made before this vacancy on the court. Senator Cruz, good morning. Those were your words four years ago. You don't believe that any more?
CRUZ: Good morning. It's good to be with you. Thank you for having me. You know, it's interesting if you look at the debate four years ago. Every single political player has switched positions. I looked at your clip of politicians from 2016. You know who you didn't play? Joe Biden. You didn't play Hillary Clinton. You didn't play Nancy Pelosi. You didn’t play Chuck Schumer. Why? Because every one of them is saying exactly the opposite of what they are saying now. Everyone has switched positions. And so the whole promo you're pushing from hypocrisy, if you want to say it, you could say everybody involved in this is a hypocrite.
GAYLE KING: So is that okay, Senator?
MASON: We have actually said that on this broadcast.
KING: Yes. We have.
CRUZ: But I listened to your promo and you only played the words of Republicans. I saw your tweet saying Ted Cruz “why has he switched his positions” and I'm curious when you have Chuck Schumer or Joe Biden on, does your tweet say, “Why has Joe Biden switched sides?”
MASON: We invite them to come on. We’d love to have them come on.
CRUZ: But did you tweet and say why did they change positions?
MASON: We mentioned they changed positions, Senator. We actually have. You’re not answering the question of why you changed your position.
CRUZ: I’m trying. You're interrupting me. I'm trying to answer the question.
MASON: Go ahead.
CRUZ: Everybody has changed their position. Every Democrat has flipped. But there's a reason for that. Both sides believe something fundamentally different about Supreme Court justices. The Democrats and Joe Biden has promised to nominate liberal activist judges, judges who will undermine our free speech rights, our religious liberty rights, our Second Amendment rights. Republicans, President Trump ran promising to nominate principled constitutionalists to the court. The American people elected him. The American people elected a Republican majority. Not just once. Not just twice. Three times. In 2014, 2016, 2018. The Republican majority in the Senate ran promising to confirm constitutionalist judges and if you actually look at history there's a clear pattern in history. So we can assess what typically happens in this circumstance. The circumstances has arisen 29 times in the history of our country. 29 times.
MASON: I don't want to go through the whole history of this, Senator.
CRUZ: Hold on. Hold on, Anthony. It is really relevant for everything you're saying. You may not want to talk about it.
MASON: I do. History takes a longtime, Senator we don't have that much time. You made the point four years ago this hasn't happened in 80 years. I want to go the point here too, that, as you point out the President won the election but didn't win the popular vote and polls suggest 62 percent of people right now think that the president, the winner of this election should pick the Supreme Court justice. What do you say to that?
CRUZ: Here's what history shows. Whenever the President and the senate are controlled by the
same party the Senate almost always confirms nominations in a presidential election year. It's happened 19 times. The Senate confirmed it 17 times. Whenever the president and the senate are controlled by opposite parties, as it was four years ago with Barack Obama, the Senate doesn't confirm the nominee.
That's happened ten times in our history. The Senate only confirmed the nominee twice. You might say that's a question of partisan power. It's actually not. It's a question of the people deciding. This issue was litigated. It was litigated to the American people. It was a major reason, the biggest reason I personal lie voted for Donald Trump because he promised to nominate justices in mold of Antonin Scalia and Thomas. If you want to understand the stakes, as you know, I got a new book that's coming out a week from today called "One vote away" and it talks about what the supreme court is all about, how a single Supreme Court seat can change history. Every chapter talks about a different constitutional right and I spend my career before the Senate before I was in the Senate litigating before the Supreme Court. So the book tells the inside war stories of the landmark cases behind free speech and religious liberty and the Second Amendment. It tells what's really going on in a way that's understandable. If you care about the Bill of Rights, the book One Vote Away, available on Amazon now for pre-order, will explain what the stakes are right now in this choice.
KING: What's the name of that book again, Senator Cruz?
CRUZ: One Vote Away.
KING: Okay, so let’s pick up on that. Are you looking for a justice who will strike down ObamaCare and reverse Roe vs Wade?
CRUZ: I'm looking for a justice who will be faithful to the law and the constitution. There's an entire chapter. You asked about Roe V. Wade there's an entire chapter in book on life. One of the interesting things that a lot of people don’t necessarily know —
KING: Would you like see that reversed? We don't have the book yet. Would you like to see it reversed?
CRUZ: I think Roe versus Wade was wrongly decided.
MASON: Senators Collins and Murkowski have both said they would prefer this vote not happen, Republicans, before election. Senator Graham say you already have the votes to pass the Supreme Court nominee without even knowing who it is. Do you have the votes?
CRUZ: We do. I believe we have the votes.
CRUZ: Here's the critical point. Hillary Clinton has told Joe Biden under no circumstances should you concede. That's what she said directly.
MASON: Senator, the president said if he doesn't win the election, it's a fake. There will be challenges on both sides.