Texas Senator Ted Cruz (R) is making waves among his Republican colleagues with a prosecutorial style of questioning Chuck Hagel, President Obama’s nominee for Defense Secretary.
The Times reported that Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, rebuked Cruz for insinuating, without evidence, that Hagel may have collected speaking fees from North Korea.
Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, called Cruz’s inquiry into Hagel’s past associations “out of bounds, quite frankly.”
Senator Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat, stopped short of invoking McCarthy’s name, but there was no mistaking her allusion when she talked about being reminded of “a different time and place, when you said, ‘I have here in my pocket a speech you made on such-and-such a date,’ and of course there was nothing in the pocket.”
Some Democrats went so far as to liken Cruz, 42, who has been in the U.S. Senate just two months, to a darkly divisive predecessor, Senator Joseph R. McCarthy, whose anti-Communist crusades devolved into infamous witch hunts.
In a Jan. 7, 2013, PBS "Newshour" interview Cruz said, "If you look at the jurisdictions with the strictest gun control laws, almost without exception, they have the highest crime rates and the highest murder rates."
PolitiFact checked the statement and found that it is not true. “This point might hold for some places. However, we found multiple exceptions -- among cities, states and nations -- making this claim False,” PolitiFact wrote.
Cruz, the former Texas Solicitor General, staunchly defended his aggressive, in-your-face style that is raising eyebrows in Washington.
"Washington has a long tradition of trying to hurl insults to silence those who they don't like what they're saying," Cruz told reporters on a visit to a Texas gun manufacturer. "I have to admit I find it amusing that those in Washington are puzzled when someone actually does what they said they would do."