Ted Cruz to CNN's Cuomo: "I appreciate your trying to lecture me"

Ted Cruz didn't take kindly to CNN anchor Chris Cuomo's questions on an Obamacare replacement

Published November 20, 2013 5:55PM (EST)

  (Reuters/Jason Reed)
(Reuters/Jason Reed)

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz got into a little bit of a verbal skirmish on Wednesday morning when CNN anchor Chris Cuomo pressed him on whether he'd offered any solutions to Obamacare's ills beyond outright repeal. (Hint: He hasn't.)

After Cruz said that repealing Obamacare in order to "start over" was "the essence of pragmatism," Cuomo noted that the junior senator had yet to propose any legislation on healthcare reform beyond repeal.

“You don’t think that you have a responsibility as a U.S. senator to do better than that, in terms of offering a solution for what to do next?” Cuomo asked.

“Well, I appreciate your trying to lecture me in the morning, thank you for that,” said a clearly sarcastic Cruz.

"No, no, no, not at all, Senator,” Mr. Cuomo said in response. “I’m worried, same as you, anybody who looks at the situation has worries.”

Cruz then asked if Cuomo had covered those who've had their individual insurance plans canceled. "If you’re worried, did you speak out for the 5 million people who’ve lost their health insurance?” Cruz asked.

“Absolutely. We’ve been covering it doggedly,” Cuomo said in response. “We’ve been covering it doggedly, and you know that; I’m sure you watch the show. The problem is, I don’t have the power to fix it. You do. That’s what a U.S. senator does ... you sponsor law. You know this. It’s not a lecture, it’s a concern; I’m asking, what are you going to do about it?”

“The way to fix that is to stop this broken law," Cruz replied. "It was broken at the outset, and all of the bills that have been proposed by the Democrats, they’re designed to be political Band-Aids. Their effort is to cover their political rear ends, not to fix the problem, and the common-sense, reasonable thing to say is this thing isn’t working.”

Watch the interaction below, via Politico:

By Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

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Affordable Care Act Chris Cuomo Cnn Healthcare Reform Obamacare Politico Ted Cruz Video