Trump-loving Ted Cruz mocked for claiming Democrats are ones with ‘herd mentality’ for one man

Texas senator is staunch opponent of mask mandates, even as his state becomes a covid epicentre

Josh Marcus
San Francisco
Tuesday 10 August 2021 15:57
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Ted Cruz accuses Democrats of "herd mentality"

Senator Ted Cruz has been accused of hypocrisy after saying Democrats have a “weird” case of “herd mentality” when it comes to following their congressional leadership and backing CDC guidance.

Following his comments, critics on social media soon pointed out that the Texas Republican himself turned into an obedient ally of Donald Trump after previously bashing him as a “utterly amoral” and a “pathological liar” during the 2016 presidential campaign.

On Monday, Mr Cruz told Fox News host Sean Hannity about conversations he’d had with Hawai’i’s Democratic Senator, Brian Schatz, about the potential of lifting the CDC’s mask mandate on airplanes.

In June, Mr Schatz called for a so-called “sense of the Senate” resolution on masks, a non-binding action that would recommend reconsidering the rule. Mr Cruz took this as a sort of congressional capitulation, he told the Fox host.

“And it’s a weird thing,” Mr Cruz said. “There is a herd mentality among congressional Democrats that they obey [Senate majority leader] Chuck Schumer, and their only answer is, ‘Sir, yes sir.’”

"And [Sen. Schatz] suggested to me, he said: ‘Ted, let’s do this together, let’s make it bipartisan.’ So I went and drafted it and you know what at the end of the day, he wasn’t willing to join because the rest of his caucus, the other Democrats, they cracked the whip,” Mr Cruz added.

The Independent has reached out to Mr Schatz’s office for comment.

Critics on social media were quick to point out that Mr Cruz could just as easily be said to have “herd mentality” along with the rest of the GOP for Donald Trump.

“No one obeys anyone more than Cruz obeys Donald,” Democratic political campaigner Scott Dworkin wrote on Twitter.

“The former guy called Ted a serial killer. Called his dad a murderer. Called his wife ugly. And what did Ted do? He bent the knee,” another Twitter user wrote.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Mr Trump ruthlessly attacked the Texas Senator, calling him ‘Lyin’ Ted’, insulting his wife’s appearance, and even suggesting his father was involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

In response, Mr Cruz branded Mr Trump “utterly amoral,” a “sniveling coward,” and “pathological liar”, but later became a key ally in Mr Trump’s impeachment defence and attempts to overturn the 2020 election.

Mr Cruz, far from a rogue maverick who bucks with his party, is actually one of the most reliably Republican members of the Senate, ranking 89th out of 100 senators when it comes to bipartisanship, according to the Luger Center.

The GOP Senator from Texas reiterated his opposition to mask and vaccine mandates during the Fox News interview as well, telling Mr Hannity, “My view is very simple. There should be no mandates, zero, concerning covid. That means no mask mandates, regardless of your vaccine status. That means no vaccine mandates.”

Texas is emerging as one of the centers of the resurgent coronavirus crisis, with governor Greg Abbott on Monday calling for volunteer out-of-state health workers to assist in its hospitals, which are struggling to keep up with the virus.

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