Dem Senator Completely Owns Ted Cruz After Cruz Called Him an 'Ass' for Demanding Mask Wearing on the Senate Floor
In the early stages of the viral outbreak that's gone on to kill nearly 250 thousand Americans, President Donald Trump insisted that the highly contagious virus was "a very small problem" in the United States.
As the months went on and the virus began to overtake the United States, Trump railed against basic safety measures like stay-at-home orders and mask wearing, blaming China for conditions in the United States and crediting himself with the leadership of local officials.
After hundreds of thousands of deaths and the loss of a presidential election, some Trump devotees in Congress are still downplaying the damage the virus continues to do—if not with their words, then with their actions.
On Monday, Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) presided over the Senate floor without wearing a mask, increasing the risk that he could unknowingly spread the virus to others.
While many Senators are socially distant enough when speaking that wearing a mask isn't required, Sullivan had a dais of clerks and aides on the bench around him, which prompted Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) to ask him to wear a mask.
Watch the tense exchange below.
.@SenSherrodBrown: "I'd start by asking the presiding officer to please wear a mask as he speaks..."@SenDanSullivan: "I don't wear a mask when I'm speaking, like most Senators...I don't need your instruction." pic.twitter.com/WQH04hCD53
— CSPAN (@cspan) November 17, 2020
As Brown took the floor, he said:
"I'd start by asking the presiding officer [Sullivan] to please wear a mask as he speaks and people below him are—I can't tell you what to do, but I know that—"
"I don't wear a mask when I'm speaking, like most Senators...I don't need your instruction."
Brown then noted the apparent lack of interest in the Senate for "public health."
On Twitter, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) attempted to defend Sullivan, accusing Brown of sanctimony and "being a complete ass."
This is idiotic. @SherrodBrown is being a complete ass. He wears a mask to speak—when nobody is remotely near him—as an ostentatious sign of fake virtue.@DanSullivan_AK was over 50 feet away, presiding. Last I checked 50 feet is more than 6 feet. https://t.co/BoIGrAV7T1
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) November 17, 2020
Cruz claimed that Sullivan was more than 50 feet away. While that may have been true for Cruz and other Senators, there were aides and others within a few feet of Sullivan.
Upon reading Cruz's tweet, Senator Brown told CNN's John Harwood:
"Ted Cruz and the truth aren't known for their intimacy."
Twitter users largely agreed.
With you all the way, @SenSherrodBrown👏👏👏👏👏 https://t.co/6MZEh56cJi
— wearealltroydavis (@weRtroydavis) November 17, 2020
Distinguished way of putting it. https://t.co/7rGtV2rQcL
— Sabine Savvidis (@SabineSavvidis) November 17, 2020
@SenSherrodBrown is absolutely correct. Ted Lies all of the time. https://t.co/sh0zuM3D85
— 😷Kristi with an 👁 🇺🇸 (@xenateach) November 17, 2020
Senator Brown's wife, Connie Schultz, also responded to Cruz's tweet, noting the proximity of the stenographer whom Cruz considered "invisible."
When that stenographer standing right in front of you is invisible — to you. So proud of you, @SenSherrodBrown. https://t.co/zm6tX2JZ6h
— Connie Schultz (@ConnieSchultz) November 17, 2020
The rest of Twitter began admonishing Cruz as well.
The point Brown was making was he was within a few feet of the staff, which has no choice but to work if the Senate is in session. https://t.co/iPUXGq0h73
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) November 17, 2020
Last week, my uncle reminded a coworker to wear her mask. Enraged, she made a Facebook post saying she wanted him dead and a man commented that he would kill him for her. She was fired and escorted out. This is the behavior this type of leadership encourages. It's unconscionable. https://t.co/NX35rGgjlh
— Ida Bae Wells (@nhannahjones) November 17, 2020
Senator Brown was talking about protecting the Senate staffers sitting right underneath the presiding officer's position. Every breath from Sullivan falls on them. @tedcruz doesn't recognize that they exist. https://t.co/h4JxGYpUWZ
— Lawrence O'Donnell (@Lawrence) November 17, 2020
.@SenSherrodBrown is the guy who thanks the waiters at events & always made sure that political staff got a meal at fancy Party dinners.@tedcruz is the guy who doesn't see the stenographer directly in front of Dan Sullivan bc everyone not a Senator is a “nobody." https://t.co/kb7fktTTWQ
— Anne Caprara (@anacaprana) November 17, 2020
Senator who read Green Eggs and Ham to his kids as a bedtime story from the Senate floor while trying to shut down the government complains about "fake virtue." https://t.co/ziackyRzB2
— Karen Tumulty (@ktumulty) November 17, 2020
Cruz has yet to respond to the widespread criticisms.