Posted on | January 2, 2013 | 28 Comments
Incoming Texas Sen. Ted Cruz vowed Wednesday to “speak out loudly” against anti-gun legislation proposed by California Sen. Dianne Feinstein and supported by President Obama.
Cruz said it was “wrong, cynical and misguided” for liberals to “exploit” this month’s shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, as an excuse to promote legislation that he denounced as “unconstitutional.” The Texas Republican told a conference call of bloggers and journalists that the Second Amendment’s guarantee of the “right to keep and bear arms” is an “integral part of the Bill of Rights.”
Just two days after the Dec. 14 shooting that killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary, Feinstein said on NBC’s Meet the Press that she would introduce a bill to “ban the sale, the transfer, the transportation and the possession” of certain semi-automatic weapons, as well as of “big clips, drums or strips of more than 10 bullets.” Feinstein was a leading proponent of the so-called “assault weapons ban” that Congress and then-President Clinton enacted in 1994, but which expired in 2004.
Cruz said Feinstein’s bill would “create a national firearms registry,” a measure he denounced as having historically been a prelude to the confiscation of firearms. He said “everyone was horrified” by the Newtown massacre, but said he would oppose “misguided policy” such Feinstein’s proposal that he said would in effect strip citizens of their gun ownership rights.
Strongly backed by the Tea Party movement, Cruz was elected by a landslide margin in Texas after winning a hard-fought GOP primary, and is viewed as a rising star among conservative Republicans. He said the GOP “got clobbered” in this year’s election because they did “a singularly poor job” of articulating their party’s core principles.
Cruz said those who are writing the Tea Party’s “obituary” are mistaken, and predicted a “strong year” for the GOP in 2004 if “Republicans stand for principle” — something he said they failed to do in recent budget negotations with President Obama.
Cruz called the “fiscal cliff” legislation that Congress passed yesterday “a really lousy deal” and said he “would have voted no” on the bill if he had been in office. “It was a mistake for Republicans to be complicit” in raising taxes, Cruz said, adding that the deal “did nothing to solve the problem” of a “federal budget [that] is out of control.”