AUSTIN (Nexstar) – “I think he’s done a remarkable job of staying faithful to the rule of law.”
Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, had nothing but high praise for Attorney General William Barr during an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper early Friday afternoon as a part of this year’s Texas Tribune Festival.
Cruz’s praise came amid pressure from Tapper, who had referenced some of the recent controversial statements made by Barr; including statements regarding his right, as the attorney general, to guide and control career attorneys and investigations within the Justice Department.
“Attorney General Barr has done an extraordinary job, and I think he’s done an incredibly difficult job,” Cruz said.
Cruz then went on to blame the Obama administration for what he perceived to be a partisan Justice Department.
“[Barr] took it knowing that the entire world would rain down attacks on him, and I think he took it, because he wanted to vindicate the rule of law and help bring the Department of Justice back, and I think he has,” he said.
Despite acknowledging some of his own family’s stresses and difficulties during the pandemic, as he and his wife, Heidi, continue to work from home and his daughters engage in online learning, Cruz was also quick to applaud the president and his administration for taking “serious, and in many instances, extraordinary steps” to curtail the spread of the virus.
He also went even further and commended Texas in particular for its handling of the pandemic.
“The nice thing is… Texas has significantly reopened, so we [Heidi and his daughters] will go out and have dinner together… I think that’s the approach the country should be taking,” Cruz said.
Cruz continued on, “I think we need to be reasonable and use common sense, but I also think it’s important to restart the economy, and let people get back to work.”
Cruz also discussed the need for increased coronavirus testing measures, calling it “a key element in how we reopen the economy.”
However, when the conversation shifted to the president’s recent conflicting statements and policy advise with Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cruz responded, “The president has long said things that I don’t agree with, and I can’t control what he says and what he doesn’t say.”
But he continued, “it’s not lost on anyone that we’re 47 days out from a presidential election, and in this context every every word that everyone utters is viewed through the political lens and … whatever the president says is used by his political enemies to attack him.”
Also discussed during the interview was the Texas senator’s recent Twitter feud with comedian Trevor Noah.
Tapper questioned the propriety of Cruz’s tweet from Sept. 11, which wrote, “A fair point. Many liberal males never grow balls….” in response to the Comedy Central host’s call to end gender reveal parties.
Cruz responded by saying, “I try to have a sense of humor. I try to make points that are notable, because it is a way to influence the discussion. And it’s a way also to reach people. Too many Republicans are stuffed suits, and they talk like accountants, and they’re boring, and they just go on Fox News all day long.”
Despite admitting the tweet was “smart aleck,” Cruz said the discourse around gender of late “has gotten really nutty.”
“It is about the point about Noah’s comment that we don’t know if babies when they’re born are girls or boys,” Cruz said. “That’s pretty loopy, and it needed to have some humor responded to it, because it’s being treated as this dogma.”
Noah’s response, which Cruz declined to comment on during the interview, can be found here.
The Texas Tribune Festival, which began Sept. 1, will run through the end of the month. All of the panels and events held will be virtual, with most of the events available on-demand for ticket holders.