During Tuesday evening’s Republican primary debate, Marco Rubio accused the Texan senator of favoring so-called “amnesty” for undocumented immigrants already in the United States, pointing to Cruz’s support for such an amendment to the 2013 Senate immigration bill. Cruz’s campaign has said the amendment was the senator’s attempt to sabotage the bill, and during the debate, Cruz declared: “I have never supported legalization, and I do not intend to support legalization.”
But on Wednesday evening’s Special Report, anchor Bret Baier challenged Cruz with his own 2013 words in favor of the amendment.
“I don’t want immigration reform to fail,” the senator said in 2013. “I want immigration reform to pass, and so I would urge people of good faith on both sides of the aisle, if the objective is to pass common-sense immigration reform, that secures the borders, that improves legal immigration and allows those illegally to come in out of the shadows, we should look for areas of bipartisan agreement and compromise to come together.”
“How do you square that circle?” Baier pressed the senator who, in turn, suggested his support for the amendment did not necessarily mean he’d have supported the so-called “Gang of Eight” bill had it actually passed.
“That’s not what you said,” Baier pushed back. “That is not what you said at the time.” He read off multiple quotes from two years ago, in which the senator openly stated he wanted to bill to pass.
After Cruz continued to deny the disparity, maintaining that he wanted to kill the Rubio-sponsored bill, Baier asked: “The problem is at the time you were telling people... that this was not a poisoned bill. You said, ‘My objective is not to kill immigration reform.’ My question to you is: Looking back at what you said then and what you are saying now, which one should people believe?”