Texas Sen. Ted Cruz: Congressional baseball shooting should be a 'wake-up call'
Stafford — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said Saturday that the recent shooting at a congressional baseball practice should be a “wake-up call to us all,” urging greater civility on both sides of the aisle.
"For anyone in the body politic who is inflaming personal hatred, this week's shooting ought to be a strong word of caution that we are all brothers and sisters, we are all Americans,” Cruz said during an interview in which he lamented that the “viciousness in political rhetoric today is sad and unfortunate."
"We may disagree on whether the federal government should have a simple flat tax or a massively confiscatory federal income tax, but those differences should not lead to demonization, vilification and personal attacks,” Cruz added.
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and three others were injured in the attack Wednesday at a field outside Washington, D.C. The gunman, who was killed by police, left behind a number of statements on social media expressing animosity toward President Donald Trump and other Republicans.
“This deranged gunman was obviously filled with hate, and that hatred spilled out with a murderous rage,” Cruz said when asked if he thought the shooting was politically motivated.
Cruz spoke with The Texas Tribune before appearing at a cookout for supporters in this Houston suburb. Politics was not expected to be on the menu — Cruz, who is up for re-election next year, said it was just an opportunity for his backers' families to spend time together on Father's Day weekend.
Cruz kept his remarks to supporters light-hearted, at one point joking about Greg Gianforte, the Montana congressional candidate who was accused of body slamming a reporter. Gianforte went on to win the race.
“My reaction — because he did it the day before the election, he came in and he won by a big margin — I said, ‘That man has singlehandedly redefined press relations,'" Cruz said.