Cruz got into a tiff with his Senate colleagues on Wednesday, arguing with both Hirono and Ossoff over who was able to speak at a hearing

June 25, 2021 04:30 PM
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Sens. Mazie Hirono, Ted Cruz and Jon Ossoff
From left: Sens. Mazie Hirono, Ted Cruz and Jon Ossoff
| Credit: Zach Gibson/Getty; Mark Wilson/Getty; Nathan Posner/Shutterstock

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was accused of "mansplaining" on Wednesday, as he was involved in another disruptive scene on Capitol Hill when he kept talking over Sens. Mazie Hirono and Jon Ossoff.

Ossoff, the Democratic freshman lawmaker from Georgia who was leading the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on President Joe Biden's judicial nominees for the first time, tried to take control of the meeting as it went off the rails.

But his efforts were to little avail as Cruz, 50, and Hirono, 73, of Hawaii, snipped back-and-forth at one another during what was set to be a relatively routine hearing.

Their argument occurred as both senators questioned Biden's judicial nominee, U.S. District Judge Gustavo Gelpi, who is being considered for a post on the First Circuit Court of Appeals.

They were pressing Gelpi on his opinion on "originalism," in which certain judges ruled based on what they believe was the original intent of the Constitution, when Cruz, a Republican, began paraphrasing comments he claimed Hirono, a Democrat, had made moments before.

However, Hirono said her opinions were being "mischaracterized" by Cruz, setting off the Republican lawmaker once Ossoff tried to tell him his time for questioning was up.

"I'm very proud you have a gavel," Cruz quipped at Ossoff.

"You know, this is a committee where we've had a little bit of comity," Cruz said. "I recognize Sen. Ossoff is new, but we generally don't have the chairman trying to jump in 30 seconds in." 

And that's when Hirono jumped back into the mix, taking exception to Cruz behavior.

"I would ask that Sen. Cruz not mistake what I'm saying and, you know what, all this mansplaining," she said. "Please stop."

Ted Cruz
Sen. Ted Cruz
| Credit: Jonathan Newton-Pool/Getty

Cruz argued that he wasn't mischaracterizing anything Hirono said.

It's not the first squabble - senatorial or otherwise - for Cruz.

In recent months, he has sparred with Sen. Tammy Duckworth, a veteran, over divisive comments he made about women's military uniforms and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over his role in amplifying former President Donald Trump's false claims about the 2020 election.

But it's not just Democrats: Former GOP Speaker of the House John Boehner told Cruz to "go f---" himself in the audiobook version of his recent memoir.

"There is nothing more dangerous than a reckless a------ who thinks he is smarter than everyone else," Boehner wrote in the book. "Ladies and gentlemen, meet Senator Ted Cruz."