Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) needs to treat others with respect before criticizing them, an ABC analyst and former strategist for George W. Bush’s 2004 presidential campaign told CNN Tuesday in the wake of the controversy surrounding Cruz’s trip to Cancun while millions of his constituents were without power during extreme winter weather.
Cruz has received sharp criticism from both sides of the political aisle for the trip, which he claimed he made at the request of his daughters. But leaked text messages from Cruz’s wife, Heidi Cruz, suggested a grander family outing.
The senator responded to the leak during a podcast appearance on Tuesday, calling it “a sign of how ridiculously politicized and nasty” the U.S. political climate was.
“You know, here’s a suggestion: Just don’t be assholes,” Cruz said “Just treat each other as human beings. Have some degree, some modicum of respect.”
Speaking with CNN host Erin Burnett, ABC analyst Matthew Dowd ― who is also a Texas resident who lost power during the storm ― said in theory that he agreed with Cruz on civility, but added the senator needed to “have a modicum of self-respect.”
“When he says that and lectures people on how they ought to behave and behave better, it’d be like Ty Cobb lecturing people on sportsmanship, or Bernie Madoff lecturing people on investment fraud,” Dowd said.
Dowd said he felt sorry for Heidi Cruz ― who was reportedly “pretty pissed” that her messages had leaked, according to her husband ― but added that his sympathy only went so far.
“Ted Cruz isn’t focused on the problem,” Dowd said. “Ted Cruz needs to buy a mirror or two for his house and look at the real problem in this, and that’s Ted Cruz. Take responsibility for your actions, take accountability, and don’t start lecturing people on things. I mean, he’s basically became an internet troll. And don’t lecture people on the things you do every day of the week.”
Dowd’s criticism mirrors that of former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who said during a Fox News Radio interview last week that he had very little sympathy for the Texas senator, especially after Cruz mocked him in 2017 for a similar gaffe. At the time, Christie had been photographed on a beach after closing all beaches in his state due to a budget impasse.
Watch Dowd’s comments below, courtesy of Mediaite.