May 25, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Ted Cruz slammed over Texas elementary school shooting comments

Sen. Ted Cruz speaks on the economy during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol on May 04, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Sen. Ted Cruz during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol earlier this month. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Sen. Ted Cruz is facing backlash after his response to the Texas elementary school shooting that left 19 students and two adults dead.

Driving the news: Democrats, gun control groups and others slammed the pro-gun rights Texas senator after he called for more armed law enforcement on school campuses following Tuesday's shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde and offered prayers to victims and their families.

A screenshot of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz's tweet in response to Tuesday's school shooting in the state.
Photo: Sen. Ted Cruz/Twitter
  • "When there's a murderer of this kind, you see politicians try to politicize it, you see Democrats and a lot of folks in the media whose immediate solution is to try to restrict the constitutional rights of law abiding citizens," Cruz said, per CNN.
  • "We are seeing way too many of these horrific mass murders. And we need to devote far more law enforcement resources to stopping violent criminals preventing these kinds of absolute acts of evil," added Cruz, who's scheduled to speak at the National Rifle Association's annual meeting later this week.

What they're saying:

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tweeted in response to Cruz's Twitter post, "Aren’t you slated to headline a speaking gig for the NRA in three days - in Houston, no less? You can do more than pray. Faith without works is dead."

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) tweeted, "F**k you @tedcruz you care about a fetus but you will let our children get slaughtered. Just get your ass to Cancun," in reference to the senator's 2021 trip to the Mexican city as Texas faced huge blackouts during a winter storm.

  • "You are useless," Gallego added.
  • In a later tweet, Gallego said, "Just to be clear f**k you @tedcruz you f**king baby killer."

Moms Demand Action gun control advocacy group founder Shannon Watts responded to Cruz's tweet, saying in a Twitter post, "Fervently lifting Uvalde up in prayer while refusing to do a goddamned thing to stop gun violence is why this keeps happening, especially in Texas.

  • "In fact @SenTedCruz has been spreading gun lobby lies about the ATF director nominee while trying to stop a federal ghost guns ban.
  • "After 16 people were killed in a hot air balloon in Lockhart, Texas, Ted Cruz authored and passed federal legislation improving safety rules. But after the shootings in El Paso and Santa Fe, he blamed mental illness for gun violence. Thank God there's no hot air balloon lobby."

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee adviser Kurt Bardella tweeted, "Ted Cruz received $300k from the pro-gun crowd so take your prayers and shove them up your ass. Your acceptance of this blood money tells us how much your prayers are worth."

Political contributor Ana Navarro-Cárdenas, a frequent co-host on "The View," retweeted Cruz's prayer tweet with the comment, "If you are one of the spineless cowards held hostage by the gun-lobby and have been an obstacle to sensible gun reform, just shut the f**k up, right now."

MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan tweeted, "Ted Cruz is one of the many elected Republicans who loudly and proudly blocks and any and all action on gun control."

Giffords, a gun control advocacy group led by former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.) who was wounded in a 2011 mass shooting, criticized Cruz and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas):

  • Representatives for Cruz did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.
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