‘Is That Seriously What You Said?!’: Ted Cruz Explodes On Democratic Senator


Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz exploded on a Democratic senator who accused him of assuming a nominee was an antisemite or terrorist sympathizer because he is Muslim.

During a Thursday Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Democratic Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin cited the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which accused Cruz of “prejudicial treatment” and “bigotry” toward Adeel Mangi, who President Joe Biden nominated to serve as a U.S. Circuit Judge for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in New Jersey.

Mangi previously appeared before the Judiciary Committee on Dec. 13. At that hearing, Cruz cited Mangi’s stint as an advisory board member for Rutgers Law School’s Center for Security, Race and Rights (CSRR), which issued a letter during the 2021 Israel-Hamas conflict condemning the “colonial conditions of structural violence and inequality that Palestinians live under.” Mangi did not say whether he agreed with that statement, though he did condemn calls for genocide and described the Oct. 7 attack on Israel as a “horror.”

Cruz also asked Mangi whether he approved of an event that the CSSR held on the 20th anniversary of 9/11 featuring Sami Al-Arian, an activist who pleaded guilty in 2006 to conspiring to fund the terror group Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Mangi said he had not heard about the event, as the advisory board met only once per year, and that he condemned the 9/11 attacks.

“You have just impugned my character by making a false accusation, and I will say it is disgraceful!” Cruz told Durbin on Thursday. “Did you respond to any of the substance of what I said? No! You just attacked me and called me a bigot, and you responded by stating deliberate falsehoods. You said he would be the first Muslim.”

“Well, you know what? I understand —” he continued, as Durbin attempted to cut in. “Excuse me, I have a right to defend myself when you impugn my character in a way that is a new low for this committee.”

“You did not dispute any of the facts I said about the organization, that he was an advisor of, he was a donor of, he raised money for,” the Texas senator said. “The Democrats don’t want to defend the substance, so now they’re screaming Islamophobia, and I understand, playing the race card when anyone disagrees with the Democrats, they scream racist.”

Cruz added that he does not oppose Mangi’s confirmation because he is a Muslim, but because of his “extreme” record. He then cited the Coalition of Jewish Values, which urged the committee to oppose his confirmation, and the organization StopAntisemitism, which expressed concern over his ties to the CSSR. (RELATED: Ted Cruz Shreds Democrats Who ‘Despise’ Clarence Thomas For Being A ‘Conservative African American’) 

“The left-wing Jewish organizations lining up to back Mr. Mangi’s nomination do not represent the consensus of American Jewry, much less its rabbinic leadership,” the Coalition of Jewish Values said in a statement. “Mr. Mangi’s alliance with the Center raises genuine concerns about his judgment and his commitment to American principles. Those concerns have nothing to do with his religious background or faith.”

Durbin insisted that Mangi had “no connection” with the CSRR, despite Mangi’s own admission that he served on its advisory board.

“Did you just say he had no connection with this organization? Is that seriously what you said in this hearing?” Cruz asked. “He was on the board of advisors, he was a donor and raised money for it, but you said he has no connection with them?”

“See? You twist this situation,” Durbin said.

“Mr. Chairman, you just said he has no connection with this organization,” Cruz said. “Is that your view and the view of Senate Democrats? Is that your view that he had no connection with this organization? Okay, you’re refusing to answer because it’s obviously indefensible and false.”

Senator Hawley Asks Judicial Nominee To Answer Question On Israel

White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates told the Daily Caller that Mangi is an “indisputably qualified and experienced attorney” and disputed the “vile, unconscionable smears” made against the nominee.

“President Biden is deeply proud to have nominated Adeel Abdullah Mangi, an indisputably qualified and experienced attorney who has lived the American dream and is devoted to our Constitution and the rule of law,” Bates said in a statement to the Caller. “These vile, unconscionable smears have been discredited by the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, and the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists, among many others. The Constitution, which every Senator has sworn to uphold – and which Mr. Mangi will uphold as the first Muslim to serve on an appellate court in American history – forbids religious litmus tests. The Senators spreading these hateful and undignified attacks – Senators Cotton, Cruz, and Hawley – should take note of that fact.”

Senator Hawley Responds To Committee Chairman’s Criticism Of GOP Senators’ Comments On Nominee

Biden nominated Mangi on Nov. 15, and the committee approved his nomination Thursday on a party-line vote. He is likely to be confirmed by the Democrat-controlled Senate.