Ted Cruz shreds ‘complete ass’ Sherrod Brown for mask-shaming on the Senate floor
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) slammed Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) on the Senate floor Tuesday. He accused him of acting like “a complete ass” after the Ohio Democrat asked Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK), who was presiding over the Senate Monday evening, to wear a mask. Cruz called the virtue signaling “idiotic.”
“This is idiotic. Sherrod Brown is being a complete ass. He wears a mask to speak—when nobody is remotely near him—as an ostentatious sign of fake virtue,” Cruz said laying into Brown, adding that Sullivan “was over 50 feet away” as the Democrat made his request.
“Last I checked 50 feet is more than 6 feet,” Cruz added.
The altercation happened Monday evening after Brown took to the Senate floor to voice his opposition to Judith Shelton, a nominee for the Federal Reserve. Before he began his rant, he arrogantly asked Sullivan to put a mask on.
“I start by asking the presiding officer to wear a mask as he speaks and people below him are — I can’t tell you what to do, but I know that the behavior—” he stated prompting Sullivan to angrily respond.
“I don’t wear a mask when I’m speaking, like most senators,” he said. “I don’t need your instruction.”
“I know you don’t need my instruction, but there clearly isn’t much interest in this body in public health,” Brown opined.
“We have a president who hasn’t shown up at the coronavirus task force meeting in months,” he continued. “We have a majority leader who calls us back here to vote on an unqualified nominee and, at the same time, to vote for judge after judge after judge, exposing all the people who can’t say anything … and expose all the staff here.”
“The majority leader just doesn’t seem to care,” Brown added.
This is idiotic. @SherrodBrown is being a complete ass. He wears a mask to speak—when nobody is remotely near him—as an ostentatious sign of fake virtue.@DanSullivan_AK was over 50 feet away, presiding. Last I checked 50 feet is more than 6 feet. https://t.co/BoIGrAV7T1
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) November 17, 2020
Sullivan addressed his heated confrontation with Brown over masks Tuesday evening on Fox News. He accused Brown of seeking to “lecture” him.
“Some of these far-left senators like Senator Brown just can’t help themselves on their desire to want to lecture people on these kinds of issues, whether it’s lecturing other US senators or lecturing working families, and I think it’s a put-off,” Sullivan said. “People recognize the challenges — we’re going to get through these challenges — but to be lectured or preached to by senior officials is something that I think is not, not, I certainly didn’t appreciate.”
Brown relayed to CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “Prime Time” later Tuesday that “Senator Cruz doesn’t have an intimate relationship with the truth in much of his public life.”
“The fact is that every time a senator stands up and speaks, there is a Senate stenographer about six feet away, and senators that don’t wear masks are putting them at risk,” he said. “I know that Ted Cruz doesn’t see the Senate stenographer because she is — it’s always a she in these cases — one of those essential workers that usually doesn’t get paid a lot of money and exposes themselves, those essential workers, to the public and then goes home anxious at night about potentially infecting their families.”
Brown stated during a press call with reporters on Tuesday that he was expressing concern for Senate staff who must work on the floor, often nearby to where the presiding officer is seated.
“Mitch McConnell has called senators back where all the staff has to come down to the Senate floor and be exposed. They have no choice, they lose their jobs or they come to work, like most of America,” Brown stated.
He then turned back to Sullivan, “He was inches away from four people who had masks on, but couldn’t protect themselves from him.”
“I don’t care what they say to me. I care about public health. It’s clear that McConnell and some of my Senate colleagues, like Ted Cruz, care nothing about essential workers,” Brown said.
A number of Democrats have been called out recently for hypocritically violating their own purported beliefs about mask-wearing and social distancing. The list of offenders includes Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who joined a crowd of people in the streets of New York to celebrate after the media declared Joe Biden the winner of the 2020 election. Videos show Schumer celebrating in the middle of crowds while not wearing a mask.
Sen. Chuck Schumer is celebrating at Grand Army Plaza with hundreds of people. “Our long fight is over,” he tells the growing crowd pic.twitter.com/tmS6x3vw0g
— Josefa Velásquez (@J__Velasquez) November 7, 2020
Senator Chuck Schumer just made an impromptu visit to Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where crowds are celebrating President Elect Joe Biden.
“I was just on the phone with Joe in the car,” Chuck said. “He could hear your screams down the street.” pic.twitter.com/vK2tWgb7P9
— Dave Quinn (@NineDaves) November 7, 2020
— The Hill (@thehill) November 7, 2020
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other public health authorities recommend that people use face coverings when in public indoor spaces and workspaces regardless of distance. The CDC advises that people “should wear masks in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household.”
Throughout the pandemic, Brown has repeatedly requested that his colleagues wear masks in the chamber. While House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) requires everyone on the House floor to wear masks, there is no similar requirement in the Senate. Masks are not mandated and it is an individual choice to wear one.