On Wednesday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) took aim at Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for his praise of Communist China, in which Sanders stated that Communist China had made “more progress in addressing extreme poverty than any country in the history of civilization.”
Cruz, who has been an aggressive opponent of the Communist China regime and whose knowledge of history, in all likelihood, far outstrips Sanders’, fired back on Twitter, snapping, “Sure, the Chinese Communists have wrongfully imprisoned & tortured millions, and they have murdered over 65 million people, but Bernie may have a point: when you’re dead, your poverty’s solved, right? #AbsurdLeftistPropaganda.”
The story that triggered Cruz to demolish Sanders came from The Hill, which lauded Sanders’ “nuanced view of Beijing.” Sanders told Hill.TV’s Krystal Ball, “China is a country that is moving unfortunately in a more authoritarian way in a number of directions. But what we have to say about China in fairness to China and its leadership is if I’m not mistaken they have made more progress in addressing extreme poverty than any country in the history of civilization, so they’ve done a lot of things for their people.”
This is not the first time Cruz has flattened Sanders, whom he must regard as his own personal punching bag. In February 2017 they debated healthcare, and Cruz lacerated Sanders several times. He forced Sanders to admit that former President Barack Obama lied about Obamacare and destroyed Sanders’s socialist philosophy after agreeing that corruption permeates Washington, D.C., then turning to Sanders and saying, “If the problem is that government is corrupt, why on Earth would you want more power in Washington?”
In October 2017 the two senators debated the GOP’s tax reform plan, which Sanders had described as “Robin Hood in reverse.” That prompted this classic slam-down from Cruz: “I think Bernie fundamentally misunderstood that story. Robin was robbing the tax collectors who were collecting too much taxes from the working men and women and taking it from the rich. In Bernie’s analogy, it is the Democrats who are King John and the Sheriff of Nottingham, and Robin is saying, ‘Tax collectors, stop hammering people who are struggling, who are laboring in the fields, who are working. Stop taking it to the castle to give out to your buddies.'”
Cruz has also been strong targeting China; in April 2019 he stated, “China is in my view the greatest long-term geopolitical risk to the United States. They are the greatest risk militarily, they are the greatest risk economically, and they are the greatest risk in expanding their world influence and seeking to constrain our own.”
In June 2019 Cruz teamed with Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL), who was the vice chairman of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee before the Democrats took the House in 2018, to bring back the “Stop Higher Education Espionage and Theft (SHEET) Act.” Cruz stated:
Thirty years ago, the world watched in horror as tens of thousands of Chinese soldiers mowed down protestors who had assembled in Tiananmen Square to demand freedom from the tyranny of Communism. That tyranny lives on today in forms as open as political violence and as insidious as mass ubiquitous surveillance. Today we remember the bravery of Chinese dissidents all around the world. We must stand with the brave men and women who continue to fight for liberty in China, both to honor the legacy of those who died in the fight and to elevate the cause of those who continue the battle today. As we remember their courage, the U.S. must remain steadfast in protecting our own people. The Communist Party is infiltrating American society to censor free speech and steal sensitive research. Groups like Confucius Institutes, China Student Scholars Association and the Thousand Talents program threaten the integrity of our universities and research. We must counter these efforts, and I am proud to reintroduce the SHEET Act.