In the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., this week, CNN host Chris Cuomo called out prominent Republicans on air by name, saying they were “afraid” to face questions about gun violence, unless they were on Fox News.
One politician, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), shot back with a photo of an at-the-time yet-to-air interview that he accused CNN of sitting on.
On Thursday’s edition of CNN’s “New Day,” which begins at 6 a.m., Cuomo asked, “What are they afraid of? The mistake we’ve been making is, we don’t say by name the lawmakers of that particular state and what they have done or refused to do. So this morning, let’s undo the mistake.”
Then he named Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Cruz.
“Rubio calls it an inexplicable tragedy,” Cuomo said. “It is the most easily explained tragedy you can have. He knows why this happens. Then you have Ted Cruz. None would come on this morning. They’re all on Fox, the mothership, because they don’t want to be asked about this.”
On Friday morning, Cruz tweeted that he had spoken to CNN for 15 minutes on Thursday, and he turned the tables by asking why his interview hadn’t aired, in full.
Cruz, who Thursday on Fox said that more gun legislation is “not the right answer,” accused Democrats both of trying to politicize a tragedy and of blocking a 2013 bill intended to address the issue. The Grassley-Cruz bill, which proposed more resources for school safety, mental health and prosecuting illegal gun owners, failed in the Senate, 52 to 48. Both the National Rifle Association and nine Democrats supported it.
Cuomo, for his part, tweeted Friday that Cruz is brilliant and the offer to come on his show stands. The host wrote that Cruz declined an offer to come on his show but interviewed with another CNN program later Thursday. The interview aired, in part, during “The Situation Room” on Friday afternoon.