TED Cruz told Chris Cuomo that "Trump broke you guys" as he slammed the host's governor brother for coronavirus "mistakes."
The senator made the comments during a conversation on Wednesday night where the pair were discussing if Trump went "soft" during the first live debate.
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Things took a tense turn when the anchor asked why Trump's did not condemn white supremacists on Tuesday.
"What happened to that Ted?" Cuomo asked. "I don't know if [Trump] changed or just you changed for some reason, Senator."
"Chris, there was a time when CNN actually cared about being journalistic and talking about facts. Donald Trump broke you guys," Cruz responded.
"I mean, your entire show, your entire network is just about how much you hate Trump."
Cuomo then denied that he hates Trump, insisting that he "respects him as a president" but wants "better for this country."
Tensions rose when the anchor called out the governors of Texas – where Cruz is a senator – Florida and Georgia about their coronavirus response.
"I get that your show wants to attack Texas, and Florida, and Georgia because they have Republican governors," Cruz said.
"We've also had much, much lower death rates than many other parts of the country. And it's political, the attacks you're making."
Cuomo then denied making the issue "political," before Cruz interjected and insulted the host's brother.
"Let me say something," Cruz said. "There is something disgusting that Democrats are doing, that Joe Biden does, and that you do, which is you try to blame the people who've lost their lives on your political enemies."
"And that's just not right," he raged. "It's not right at all and it's particularly not right, Chris, when your brother [New York Governor Andrew Cuomo] has presided over the state with the highest death rate in the country."
"New York's record will stand for itself," Cuomo said, defending his older brother.
"I know your brother didn't want those people to lose their lives but you shouldn't play politics," Cruz said.
"Oh, that's good. So you don't think he intentionally killed them. That's good. That's very charitable of you," Cuomo hit back.
"Of course not!" Cruz exclaimed. "We could have a very reasonable policy discussion about the policy mistakes in New York, New Jersey of sending COVID-positive patients into nursing homes and I think that was a very serious policy mistake."
I know your brother didn't want those people to lose their lives but you shouldn't play politics.
"Mm, because that didn't happen all over the country, right?" Cuomo said.
"No, it didn't happen in Texas. That's one of the reasons why the death rate in New York is four times the death rate in Texas," Cruz responded.
After the intense back and forth, Cruz grilled Cuomo on whether or not the governor's nursing home policy was a "mistake."
"My brother was the first one to say that there was a learning curve and that mistakes were made and they changed things as soon as they could," Cuomo said.
"Then don't be a hypocrite about it," Cruz said before asking Cuomo, "Does it trouble you at all that New York and New Jersey had the highest death rates?"
"Of course! It all troubles me, Ted!" Cuomo responded. "And to watch guys like you stand by and stroke your beard like a wise man instead of telling the president to get on it when you have power – "
"How about you tell your brother to get on it!" Cruz retorted as Cuomo insisted that "my brother will stand for his own record!"
"Why don't you talk to the president the way that you talk to my brother, Ted? You afraid of him? You think he'll smack you down at home? Is that what it is like the way he shut you up in the primary?"
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