Fox News host Bret Baier on Wednesday evening confronted Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) over comments the senator made in 2013 about the immigration reform bill, at one point causing Cruz to stumble and mumble while responding.
During the Tuesday night Republican presidential debate, Cruz and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) battled over their positions on immigration. Rubio insisted that Cruz once supported a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. And Cruz responded by saying, “I have never supported legalization and I don’t intend to support legalization.”
On Wednesday night, Baier grilled Cruz on comments he made in 2013 that suggested he supported immigration reform. Fox played a clip of Cruz discussing his amendment to the reform bill and calling on senators to pass a compromise that would allow “those who are here illegally to come out of the shadows.” Baier then noted that Cruz’s amendment to the bill would have allowed undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States permanently.
Cruz said he was actually leading the fight against “amnesty” in 2013, and that his amendment would have removed citizenship for undocumented immigrants from the bill.
“The fact that I introduced an amendment to remove part of the Gang of Eight bill doesn’t mean I support the rest of the Gang of Eight bill,” Cruz said.
Baier countered Cruz and said that in 2013, the Texas senator said that his amendment would help the Gang of Eight bill pass.
“It sounded like you wanted the bill to pass,” he told Cruz.
In response, Cruz stumbled and made a few noises as he searched for the right words, giving the appearance that he did not have a solid answer at the tip of his tongue. He then said, “Of course I wanted the bill to pass — my amendment to pass.”
Baier then said that Cruz told reporters at the time that his amendment was not meant to be a “poison pill” to tank immigration reform.
“You said you wanted it to pass at the time. Looking back at what you said then, and what you’re saying now, which one should people believe?” Baier asked.
Cruz responded by arguing that his amendments helped defeat the immigration reform bill.
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