The editors at National Review defend Ted Cruz’s dishonest and demagogic performance at the Hagel confirmation hearing:
Indeed, Cruz spent most of his allotted time at Hagel’s confirmation hearing establishing this fact by rehearsing for Hagel his own past statements and insinuations to this effect, all on the record, from the floor of the United States Senate to the broadcasts of Al Jazeera. Cruz was not here working on innuendo or guilt by association [bold mine-DL].
The NR editorial simply asserts that Cruz didn’t do all of the things he did at the hearing. Cruz misrepresented Hagel’s statements on at least two occasions during the hearing. Put bluntly, he lied about what Hagel had said, and then demanded that Hagel account for the distorted version of his words that Cruz had presented. The most obvious of these was when Cruz took a phrase out from Hagel’s 2006 speech calling for a cease-fire in Lebanon and presented it as a one-sided condemnation of Israeli conduct alone. He certainly engaged in baseless innuendo at the later committee meeting, when he speculated without a shred of evidence that Hagel might be taking money from hostile and authoritarian regimes. As for guilt by association, there is no other way to describe his bizarre attempt to hold Hagel responsible for Chas Freeman’s views. Cruz was behaving like a demagogue, and he was unscrupulous in his use of evidence to score cheap ideological points.