Republican presidential contender Ted Cruz went round and round Friday with Fox News host Greta Van Susteren over his previous stance on legalizing illegal immigrants.
In a follow up to an intense exchange with GOP rival Marco Rubio during Tuesday’s CNN presidential debate where Rubio called Cruz out for previously supporting a path to legalization for those in the U.S. illegally, the Texas senator was grilled for nearly ten minutes.
Van Susteren produced a copy of a letter that seemed to contradict Cruz’s claim that he never supported a path to legalization, pointing to an amendment he proposed in 2013 to the “Gang of Eight” immigration bill.
“Well, let me read you a letter that you wrote…written on June 4, 2013, signed by you,” she said. “And it talks about how critically the committee rejected, that would be the committee you’re trying to get this amendment to, rejected the Cruz amendment that would have allowed immigrants here to obtain legal status.”
“That’s not true?” the Fox News host asked.
Cruz told Van Susteren that it was “factually incorrect” to suggest he supported legalization, explaining that his amendment would make those here illegally “permanently ineligible for citizenship.”
“They would have a legal status,” Van Susteren said, looking to the letter.
“No, it did not say they would have a legal status,” Cruz replied.
“Am I reading this wrong?” Van Susteren asked.
Cruz insisted he introduced the amendment to get rid of citizenship, that it was a ploy to kill the bill.
“Yes or no on this. You supported this amendment, you pushed it — yes, that’s the first thing,” she said. “The second thing is that you’re now saying to me that it was part of a strategy, is that right? A strategy to defeat it, right?”
“Of course it was,” Cruz responded.
But Greta didn’t let him off the hook easily.
“I’m just hearing that now that this was part of a strategy,” she said. “Why in the days and weeks and months after June 4th, 2013, did it never come up that this was a poison pill?
And while Cruz noted that he led the effort to “beat the Gang of Eight,” the bill did pass in the U.S. Senate
So, after nearly ten minutes of back and forth, the waters remained as murky as when they began — ain’t politics great?
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