Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is defending the National Rifle Association (NRA) for making a "fundamental point" with an advertisement targeting the President Barack Obama's daughters over the "hypocrisy" of their Secret Service protection, but he says the president exploited the December tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut "within minutes" after 20 children were massacred.
During a Sunday interview on NBC's Meet the Press, host David Gregory asked Cruz if the NRA had gone over the line by calling the president an "elitist hypocrite" in an advertisement that falsely claimed that armed guards were employed by Sidwell Friends School, where the president's daughters are enrolled.
"Look, I'm going to let people decide to run whatever ads they want," Cruz shrugged. "I do think there is a fundamental point here, and there is a point of hypocrisy when it comes to gun control, that many of the opponents of gun control are very wealthy, live in communities where they can outsource police protection."
The Texas Republican added that gun control advocates didn't seem to care about the Second Amendment rights of "a single woman living in Anacostia who has the misfortune to live next to crack house."
"This is a narrower point about armed guards in schools," Gregory pointed out. "This happened to be an ad that's factually inaccurate. The president's children are protected by the Secret Service, and that's not their own choice. And yet, you're trying to make a broader point, which I understand. But you think this is a constructive part of the debate?"
"What I don't think is constructive is what the president is doing right now," Cruz shot back. "Within minutes of that horrible tragedy in Newtown, the president began trying exploit that tragedy to push a gun control agenda that is designed to appeal to partisans, that is designed to his political partisans."
"Number one, it would have done zero to prevent the crime in Newtown. Number two, many of the provisions are contrary to the constitutional protections of the Second Amendment. But number three, they don't work... This is not designed to actually solve the problem of violent crime, this is designed to assuage liberal partisans who want to push gun control."