Not to brag or anything, but Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) knows better than to let a mass shooting in his state keep him from going to the National Rifle Association’s convention in Houston three days later.
“I thought it was important to be there,” Cruz said during his podcast on Thursday. “I was disappointed to see so many others make the decision not to be there.”
The senator complained that the NRA was being treated unfairly in the wake of the elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, which left 19 kids and two adults dead.
“The media and the Democrats, they want to label anyone who believes in the Second Amendment, anyone who defends the Second Amendment, as responsible for this horrific crime, and the NRA in particular is probably their favorite boogeyman,” he said.
The Texas Republican also mentioned talking to ex-president Donald Trump at the convention and expressing his deep gratitude and appreciation that the former president hadn’t dropped out either.
“I said, ‘Look, it was important that you came, it was important that you didn’t back out. Thank you for being here,'” Cruz recounted. “And he of course agreed.”
The senator also described their bro time as a bonding session over how brave they were (and the others who dropped out weren’t) for being at the event.
“He had, let me just say, some choice words for some of the folks who chose not to be there,” Cruz said fondly of the man who once called his wife ugly.
That Trump apparently bashed the no-shows during his chat with Cruz isn’t much of a surprise: The ex-president opened his speech by bragging to the audience, “Unlike some, I didn’t disappoint you by not showing up.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) had announced on the eve of the convention that he would no longer be attending in-person, and sent a pre-recorded video address to the conference instead.
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) followed Abbott’s lead the next day and dropped out several hours before he was slated to appear at the convention.
Cruz’s fellow Texas senator, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), also ditched the event, as did Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX). However, both lawmakers stated that they had already cancelled their appearances before (and in Crenshaw’s case after) the shooting due to scheduling conflicts.