Democratic Rep Not Sure Why Ted Cruz Went To Mandela Service

If you’re wondering why Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) accompanied a largely Democratic delegation to South Africa for Nelson Mandela’s memorial service last week, you aren’t alone. The Democrats weren’t quite sure what to make of it either.

Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) said Monday that while Cruz was cordial on board the flight to South Africa, she and others were “curious” about what motivated the tea party senator to join the delegation.

“I think that he was on the spot because there were many members who were curious, you know, about why he would want to take this pilgrimage,” Moore said on MSNBC. “This was a solemn — it was hard trip, 40 hours and turning right around. And even the senator had to come right back and vote at 1 a.m.”

Moore pointed out that the delegation was comprised mostly of Democrats, including some lawmakers who were active in the anti-apartheid movement.

“And so there was a lot of curiosity about [Cruz],” she said.

 Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), who was also in the delegation, said last week that Cruz “got an earful” from his Democratic counterparts on the flight.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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