On Sean Hannity’s radio show on Thursday, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) dismissed the suggestion that his GOP colleague Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), a candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, was a proponent of the so-called “Gang of Eight” bill during the legislative process in 2013.
Lee, who was on the Senate Judiciary Committee with Cruz at the time the legislation was being debated in that committee, argued Cruz’s efforts to introduce amendments was in no way a gesture that he supported the bill.
He went on to add that that accusation, which would have meant that he and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), one of Cruz’s opponents for the GOP nod, had similar positions on immigration reform at that time were “absolutely false.”
“Well, look – as you know, as you just pointed out, I’m friends with both these guys,” Lee said. “I have enormous respect for both of them. I will tell you this: I serve on the Judiciary Committee with Ted Cruz. I was there with Ted Cruz the entire time as we spent weeks on the ‘Gang of Eight’ immigration bill. I was there as we both drafted and presented amendments trying to make this really bad ‘Gang of Eight’ amnesty bill not as bad.”
“And at no time during that process – at no moment did I ever see Ted Cruz take any action that was tantamount to saying he was embracing amnesty,” Lee continued. “He filed amendments designed to make the bill less bad. But that didn’t mean and does not mean now and never will mean that he was going to vote for that bill. He was just trying to make it less bad. And insofar as anybody is trying to suggest that Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio had the same position with regards amnesty or with regards to the ‘Gang of Eight’ bill – that is absolutely false. One-hundred percent false.”
Lee went on to say he did not see a good reason to get involved in the contest and endorse a candidate, but he would “step up to their defense” when one of those candidates is unfairly accused.
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