In the wake of Tuesday night's extremely contentious presidential debate, Texas Senator Ted Cruz appeared on the CNN program Cuomo Prime Time to give his analysis of the debate and to plug his forthcoming book.
But his interview with anchor Chris Cuomo quickly went off the rails when Cuomo refused to let Cruz off the hook for his hypocritical evasions of the questions asked of him.
Before long, the two men were shouting at each other on live television in a scene that was nearly as contentious as the debate itself.
"Chris, do you actually want to talk substance?" @TedCruz asks @ChrisCuomo. "We are talking substance. I just like… https://t.co/Y8NwMkhmjZ— Cuomo Prime Time (@Cuomo Prime Time)1601519245.0
The interview became contentious almost right from the beginning.
Cuomo, clearly anticipating Cruz's dodging of the question, opened things by asking Cruz to "speak truth to power" by standing up to President Trump and denouncing white nationalist groups like the Proud Boys, which the President refused to do during Tuesday's debate.
In response, Cruz pivoted to plugging his book. When pressed on the issue again by Cuomo, Cruz falsely claimed that the President had already walked his comments back, and then launched into an attack on Joe Biden, which Cuomo bluntly called a "weak-a*s argument."
Cruz then resorted to mocking CNN itself. When talk turned to President Trump's response to the ongoing pandemic, Cruz attempted to pivot the conversation again, this time to criticism of Cuomo's brother, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, and his response to the pandemic in New York City.
Cuomo then laid into Cruz for not being willing to stand up to the President.
"Why don't you talk to the president the way you talk to my brother, Ted? You afraid of him? You think he'll smack you down at home?"
When Cruz continued insulting the New York governor, Cuomo pointed out the myriad insults the President has hurled at Senator Cruz over the course of the 2016 campaign season and in the years since he took office.
"I'm talking about the President. My brother's not the President. I'm talking about the President, the one who called you a liar. The one who said your wife was ugly, that guy. You know, the guy now who you won't say anything about."
In response, Cruz simply laughed and claimed that Republicans usually refuse to come on Cuomo's show, which is well-known for the frequency with which it hosts GOP guests.
On Twitter, the fiery shouting match between the two left many people's jaws hanging open, and there was very little love lost for Senator Cruz.
This is the most heated tv moment I HAVE EVER WATCHED! Chris Cuomo just called Ted Cruz out for his hypocrisy. https://t.co/iBZXtdt4Gg— The Daily Angle (@The Daily Angle)1601516843.0
@thedailyangle All that bullying Republicans do and they melt under the slighted bit if pressure.— Jillian Reeves (@Jillian Reeves)1601530892.0
@thedailyangle Yes about time Chris took him to school. The ny came out. Yes yes ty Chris.— Annette rodriguez (@Annette rodriguez)1601553331.0
@justinbaragona This was outstanding. Cuomo ripped him apart - just as Ted deserved. And I’m a staunch Republican.— Voice of Reason (@Voice of Reason)1601516386.0
@justinbaragona I think that Chris was at his best tonight interviewing Ted Cruz. I’d like him to moderate the Trump/Biden debates.— Alton Lamb (@Alton Lamb)1601517016.0
@justinbaragona Ted Cruz is a weak, sniveling, sycophantic coward devoid of any honor or dignity. Donald Trump cal… https://t.co/gu9fjJqX6y— Russell Drew (@Russell Drew)1601518961.0
@peanut3656 @mmpadellan Once he works up the nerve, I'm sure Ted Cruz will challenge Andrew Cuomo to wrestle with Jim Jordan.— Irbslice (@Irbslice)1601529679.0
Ted Cruz was nowhere near ready for Chris Cuomo tonight!! I love his ability to speak out for what he thinks and be… https://t.co/mXumSzBIdR— Tamika Humphries (@Tamika Humphries)1601515822.0
Chris Cuomo: Why won’t you tell off the president? Ted Cruz: 😐 Cuomo: You know, the one who called your wife ugly… https://t.co/5jQejVvRta— Farrett (@Farrett)1601516130.0
In the end, very little was accomplished in the conversation, which even included an argument about who was and was not yelling. Which seems like a metaphor for our politics these days, doesn't it?