- Sen. Ted Cruz says he intends to speak at the NRA’s leadership conference on Friday.
- He hit out at Democratic lawmakers and the press for, he claimed, trying to “demonize the NRA.”
- He also said that, in his opinion, the NRA “stands up for the rights of every American.”
Sen. Ted Cruz on Thursday confirmed that he would be speaking at the National Rifle Association’s leadership conference while accusing Democratic lawmakers and the media of attempting to “demonize” the NRA.
Cruz told CBS-11’s Ken Molestina that he intends to speak at the event, despite the backlash.
“I’m going to be there because what Democrats and the press try to do in the wake of every mass shooting is they try to demonize law-abiding gun owners, try to demonize the NRA,” Cruz told CBS.
“I’ll tell you what the NRA does. It stands up for your rights, stands up for my rights, and stands up for the rights of every American,” he said.
Cruz got flak from Democratic lawmakers this week, who called him out for his scheduled attendance at the conference just days after the shooting at Robb Elementary School, where 21 people — including 19 children— were killed. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Cruz could “do more than pray.” Meanwhile, Rep. Ruben Gallego called Cruz a “f–king baby killer,” tweeting that Cruz was letting “our children get slaughtered.”
Cruz this week also walked out of an interview with a British journalist when asked to respond to why mass shootings only happen in America.
Journalist Mark Stone from British news outlet Sky News asked Cruz why there was an “American exceptionalism” to mass shootings. In response, Cruz patted Stone on the chest, saying: “I’m sorry you think American exceptionalism is awful.”
When pressed further by Stone on the phenomenon of mass shootings, Cruz replied angrily before storming off: “Why is it that people come from all over the world to America? ‘Cause, it’s the freest, most prosperous, safest country on earth. Stop being a propagandist.”
In the wake of the shooting, Cruz has spoken out against more gun control, calling instead for armed officers to be stationed at schools.
Cruz is slated to speak at the NRA’s convention, which kicks off in Houston on Friday. The NRA has confirmed that the annual meeting will go ahead as planned. However, the group is not allowing any firearms on the event premises, citing Secret Service safety restrictions.
Also speaking at the conference is former President Donald Trump. Trump reaffirmed that he would be at the conference, saying it was the time for America to have “real solutions and real leadership.”
Two Republican lawmakers — Rep. Dan Crenshaw and Sen. John Cornyn — confirmed this week that they would not be making it down to Houston for the conference, but cited non-shooting-related reasons. Several scheduled musical performers, including Don McLean and Gatlin Brothers member Larry Gatlin, have dropped off the bill.