Maybe the Republican backlash against Cruz’s public admiration of Nelson Mandela last week got to the freshman senator. At Mandela’s memorial service in South Africa Tuesday, Cruz took an opportunity for theatrics and walked out during Cuban president Raul Castro’s speech. You know, because you honor a someone great by walking out of the memorial service.
“Sen. Cruz very much hopes that Castro learns the lessons of Nelson Mandela,” Cruz’s spokeswoman and former Perry staffer Catherine Frazier said. “For decades, Castro has wrongly imprisoned and tortured countless innocents. Just as Mandela was released after 27 years in prison, Castro should finally release his political prisoners. He should hold free elections, and once and for all, set the Cuban people free.”
No one’s more political than Ted Cruz, and it’s overwhelmingly obvious his team leaked it after no one noticed the walkout. Cruz and Newt Gingrich have been under fire from many Republican rank-and-file this week for praising Mandela. Really, and it got very ugly.
What better way to nip that in the bud than to leak an account of walking out during Mandela’s service? The story coincides, of course, with the fake controversy that President Obama – gasp! – shook hands with Castro while going down a line of hands. Cruz certainly knew Castro would speak, so it would appear he went to South Africa with a congressional delegation — on the taxpayer dime, of course — to walk out of Nelson Mandela’s memorial. On Cruz’s logic, everyone at Nelson Mandela’s memorial should have walked out when Castro gave a speech.
The junior senator from Texas, everyone.