During an interview on CBS for Face The Nation this weekend, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) faced tough scrutiny from host Margaret Brennan for his own lack of compliance with the standards included in proposals he has pushed for members of both the Senate and House of Representatives to have limits on the length of time they can spend in office.
A Cruz proposal would force Senators to just two terms in office, but he is evidently running for a third, for which he would be on the ballot in 2024. It’s unclear at this point who the Democrats might pick to challenge Cruz. Beto O’Rourke, the former Congressman who campaigned against him the last time he was on the ballot, later ran against Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott in last year’s midterm elections but lost again. O’Rourke made issues including fighting back against gun violence a central part of his campaign. On CBS, Cruz notably also pushed back — although in somewhat inconclusive terms — on the question of whether he would run for president.
“You also introduced a bill to limit terms to two six-year terms in office for Senators,” host Margaret Brennan asked Cruz. “Why aren’t you holding yourself to that standard? You said you’re running for a third term.” Cruz replied in part by complaining about so-called “socialists” and “swamp” creatures. “Well, listen, I’m a passionate defender of term limits,” he claimed Sunday on CBS. “I think that Congress would work much better if every Senator were limited to two terms, if every House member were limited to three terms. I’ve introduced a constitutional amendment to put that into the Constitution. And if and when it passes — if and when it passes, I will happily, happily comply. I’ve never said I’m going to unilaterally comply. I’ll tell you what, when the socialists and when the swamp are ready to leave Washington, I will be more than happy to comply by the same rules that apply for every one. But until then, I’m going to keep fighting for 30 million Texans because they’ve asked me to do.”
Cruz’s idea, then, seems to be he is essentially boxed into his present position because of the decisions by others in the House and Senate to stay in their roles. Does that list include Mitch McConnell, who has been in his Senate post for decades?
Ten Republicans voted for Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) to replace McConnell as conference leader among Senate Republicans, although that voting — unlike the eventual race to become House Speaker — was conducted secretly, so it’s unclear how Cruz voted in the contest. Outside of that context, Cruz has engaged repeatedly in heated confrontations with various individuals challenging his political positions, whether that’s at a restaurant, on an airplane, or from the stage of a media event in Texas, where he aggressively challenged those in the crowd expressing disdain at his pro-gun approach. That was after the shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, where the attacker used a legally purchased firearm — meaning that different laws could’ve meant the incident didn’t happen.