Chris Cuomo and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) clashed in a heated interview Wednesday night on CNN.
The Daily Beast reports the Republican senator was a guest on “Cuomo Prime Time” to talk about the upcoming Supreme Court battle and Cruz’s latest book, but the conversation quickly devolved into a 20-minute shouting match with personal insults.
Cuomo asked Cruz about President Donald Trump side-stepping a call to condemn white supremacists and militia groups during Tuesday’s presidential debate against Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
“The press is partisan in this regard,” Cruz said. “Ten years ago, 2010, Joe Biden gave a eulogy for Robert Byrd who was a Klan cyclops of the KKK.”
“You’re really going to go with that?” Cuomo responded. “You’re going to go with this weak-ass argument here?! Byrd, who had a complete enlightenment about how hate was wrong, who changed his life, who spoke about it.”
Cuomo said Trump similarly refused to disavow KKK leader David Duke and referred to “very fine people” in Charlottesville, and then reminded Cruz that Trump called Cruz’s wife Heidi ugly during the 2016 Republican primary and pushed conspiracy theories about Cruz’s father being involved in the JFK assassination.
“The old Ted Cruz, who he called Lyin’ Ted when he wasn’t insulting your wife and father, what happened to that Ted? I don’t know if he changed or just you changed, for some reason,” Cuomo said.
Moments later, Cruz attacked the CNN host’s brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, over his response to the coronavirus pandemic and deaths in nursing homes.
“Does it trouble you at all that New York and New Jersey had the highest death rates in the country?” Cruz asked.
“Of course, it all troubles me, Ted! And to watch guys like you stand by and stroke your beard like a wise man instead of telling the president to get on it when you have power is a problem,” Chris Cuomo shot back.
Cruz returned fire: “How about telling your brother to get on it?”
“My brother will stand on his own record,” the CNN host said, defending Gov. Cuomo. “Why don’t you talk to the president like you talk to my brother, Ted? You afraid of him? You think he’ll smack you down at home? Is that what it is? Like he shut you up in the primary?”
“Yeah, I’m terrified of the Cuomos,” Cruz said sarcastically.
“I’m talking about the president. My brother’s not the president,” Chris Cuomo continued. “The one who called you a liar, who said your wife was ugly, that guy! The guy now who you won’t say anything about!”
“Chris Cuomo” and “Ted Cruz” became trending topics on social media as viewers reacted to the heated exchange.
“Apparently, Chris Cuomo and Ted Cruz decided to reenact last nights debate on live tv,” one Twitter user joked.