Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said Monday he won’t engage in “political sniping” as the Republican defended his opposition to a post-Sandy federal relief bill, while seeking federal aid for Tropical Storm Harvey recovery.
Asked about Rep. Peter King’s criticism of his Sandy opposition over the weekend, Cruz told CNBC, “There’ll be plenty of time for politics and I’m not going to worry about political sniping. My focus here is on the tragedy that’s unfolding.”
King on Saturday tweeted, “Ted Cruz & Texas cohorts voted vs NY/NJ aid after Sandy but I’ll vote 4 Harvey aid. NY wont abandon Texas. 1 bad turn doesnt deserve another.”
Cruz, at a Houston relief center for evacuees, said Harvey has not changed his opinion about the Sandy bill. “I didn’t think it was appropriate to engage in pork barrel spending, where two-thirds of that bill was unrelated to spending that had nothing to do with Sandy and was simply politicians wasting money,” he said.
King, in an interview, shot back, “He was lying then, he’s lying now. He’s a chronic and a habitual liar.” King said “99 percent” of the $61 billion bill was related to Sandy, with other parts added by leadership to help with other natural disasters.
King said his tweet wasn’t sniping; he sent it out to reassure local Texas officials that he wouldn’t try to hold up a Harvey relief package. He added that he wanted to “set a marker down” for the next New York natural disaster.
King also said he wanted to remind Cruz of his crack about “New York values” during the Republican presidential primaries.