Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) ripped CNN host Chris Cuomo after the anchor attempted to shame the lawmaker into appearing on the network after Cruz had already given an interview that went largely unaired.
Cruz tweeted out a clip on Wednesday of him pointing out that nearly 70% of Americans are making more on boosted unemployment benefits than they were at their jobs. Cuomo challenged Cruz to show the data backing up the assertion on an appearance on Cuomo’s show, “Cuomo Prime Time.”
“Come on @CuomoPrimeTime and make the case [Ted Cruz]. First question: show me the numbers, please? #doyourjob,” the CNN anchor tweeted.
Cruz shot back that the clip he originally tweeted out was of a recent CNN interview that went largely unaired by the network.
“Chris, the clip you forwarded from The Hill is from a CNN EXCLUSIVE yesterday…that y’all largely refused to air. I gave @cnn a nearly 7 min interview & you ran 15 sec on TV,” Cruz wrote. “When you air the interviews you already have, then maybe we can discuss new ones. #FakeNews #doyourjob”
The federal government approved a short-term boost to unemployment benefits in March to help offset the economic impact of government shutdowns that kicked millions of Americans out of work. A group of University of Chicago economists calculated that roughly seven-in-10 Americans that filed for unemployment during the pandemic began taking home more money than they were making while working.
While furloughed and laid-off workers have benefited from the unemployment increase, the program is now causing headaches for business owners trying to restart their companies after being forced to shut down for weeks or months. The pandemic program expires on Friday, though lawmakers on Capitol Hill are debating whether to extend the program.
“One of the worst aspects of what Congress has done so far is the plus-up in unemployment compensation. We are paying a whole lot of people a lot more money to stay home and not work than they made on their jobs, and that is terrible for those workers, it’s terrible for the economy,” Cruz said in the clip.
“And every time everyone in this body who votes for paying people more money to stay home and not work than to go to work, they ought to write on the top of that ‘Paid for by the Joe Biden for President campaign’ because there are a lot of Democratic politicians all over the country who they understand if the country is shut down, if 40 million people are out of work, their guy probably wins and so they want the economy completely shut down,” Cruz continued.
“If it ends up that Biden wins in November – I hope he doesn’t, I don’t think he will, but if he does – I guarantee you the week after the election suddenly all those Democratic governors, all those Democratic mayors will say, ‘Everything is magically better. Go back to work. Go back to school.’”
“Suddenly the problems are solved. You won’t even have to wait for Biden to be sworn in. All they’ll need is Election Day and suddenly their willingness to just destroy people’s lives and livelihoods, they will have accomplished their task. That’s wrong, it’s cynical, and we shouldn’t be a part of it,” Cruz concluded.
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