Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas has called President Barack Obama a liar and implied the newly issued executive orders on guns are an overture to a wholesale gutting of the Second Amendment.
During his tearful press conference unveiling executive orders designed to curb gun violence and better enforce background checks, the president said that he supported gun ownership and that his new efforts did not violate Second Amendment rights.
“I believe in the Second Amendment … no matter how many times people try to twist my words around,” Obama said, according to Town Hall. “I taught constitutional law, I know a little about this.”
Cruz, who is contending for the Republican presidential nomination, responded by questioning the president’s sincerity.
The Cruz campaign’s official website posted an altered picture of Obama dressed in military gear, declaring “Obama wants your guns.”
The image implied the president is a fascist-in-waiting.
“It’s actually quite accurate,” Cruz told CNN on Jan. 7. “This is the most anti-gun president we’ve ever seen.”
When pressed about Obama’s insistence that he respects gun rights, Cruz responded: “He’s not telling the truth.”
Cruz has made gun ownership a core tenet of his political philosophy. He has repeatedly called for the prosecution of convicted felons trying to illegally purchase firearms.
The Texas senator introduced a bill in 2013 designed to give law enforcement more teeth in going after criminals trying to obtain guns. The legislation was co-sponsored with Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa but failed in the Senate.
Cruz said the president does not target criminals but instead tries to punish all gun owners.
“Look, he’s targeting private consensual gun sales between law-abiding citizens and this is what Obama gets wrong over and over again … he can’t distinguish between what good guys and bad guys.”
The White House has not responded to Cruz’s assertion but press secretary Josh Earnest did give his opinion on the unfolding controversy the Texas senator is facing over his citizenship.
Donald Trump has voiced concerns about whether or not Cruz is legally allowed to become the U.S. president because he was born in Canada, putting him on the defensive.
“It would be quite ironic if after seven or eight years of drama around the the president’s birth certificate, if Republican primary voters were to choose Sen. Cruz as their nominee,” Earnest responded, according to ABC News.
“Somebody who actually wasn’t born in the U.S. and only 18 months ago renounced his Canadian citizenship.”