One of the highlights (lowlights?) of Tuesday night’s GOP debate was the back-and-forth between Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz over immigration reform. Cruz positioned himself as a hardcore conservative when it comes to illegal immigration, stating throughout that he is opposed to any and all forms of what he labels amnesty. During the night, he attacked Rubio for his liberal position on immigration, specifically his attempts to get immigration reform passed in the Senate.
Less than a day after his performance, likely feeling like he made an impression with Republican voters, Cruz appeared on Fox News’ Special Report with Bret Baier. Probably expecting a nice little tongue bath from the anchor, as is the custom at Fox for conservative lawmakers, the junior Senator from Texas was taken aback when Baier actually practiced something called journalism and questioned Cruz over his support for immigration reform in 2013.
Digging into Cruz’s past comments to reporters in 2013 when the Senate was trying to pass an immigration bill, Baier highlighted an amendment to the bill that the conservative firebrand supported that would have given some legal status to undocumented workers. After playing a clip of Cruz saying he wanted the amendment added so that it gave the immigration reform bill a better chance of passing, Baier wanted to know why Cruz supported ‘amnesty’ back then, but not now.
Of course, Cruz tried to backtrack, saying he was actually trying to fight amnesty at that time with Steve King and Jeff Sessions, and the intent was to destroy the Gang of Eight bill that Rubio had helped create. This led to Baier telling Cruz that remarks of his at the time showed that he wanted the amendment added as a compromise in order for the bill to pass. This caused Cruz to stammer and sweat as he realized he had been cornered.
The Tea Party darling then attempted to point out that the amendment was nothing more than a poison pill so the reform bill would fail. Once again, Baier was ready for Cruz’s response, as he brought up an interview the surging GOP Presidential candidate gave to the Washington Examiner’s Byron York in 2013 where he specifically stated that the amendment WAS NOT a poison pill. He then asked Cruz which one should people believe, the one who said he supported immigration reform then, or the warrior against amnesty now. Ouch.
Below is video of the interview, courtesy of Fox News: