Ted Cruz to Rahm: Leave Smith & Wesson, Banks Alone

Por en English 01/29/13 2:33pm
U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks as U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) looks on as they appear on "Meet the Press" in Washington, January 20, 2013. U.S. Senate Democrats for the first time in more than three years will pass a budget, Schumer said on Sunday, fulfilling a basic task that Republicans have been urging them to do. REUTERS/William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC NewsWire/Handout

Ouch.

There’s not much more to say after reading newly installed Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s letter to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Cruz was responding to Emanuel’s letters to TD Bank and the Bank of America urging them to stop supporting gun makers.

“In the past, the gun industry has stood in opposition to these safety measures,” Emanuel wrote, according to CBS News. “They opposed a ban on assault weapons on America’s streets, opposed a ban on military-style clips, opposed a criminal background check on all gun purchases and opposed any effort to crack down on criminal gun traffickers.”

Cruz had a different perspective.

Co-addressed to the CEOs of the Bank of America, TD Bank, Smith & Wesson and Smith, Ruger & Co., his letter gives unstinting support to the banks and gun companies while taking square aim at Emanuel’s record, behavior and motivation.

“Both of your companies do considerable business in the City of Chicago and may be understandably concerned that there are risks to refusing to comply with the demands of a politician who has earned the name, ‘The Godfather,'” Cruz wrote.

“Here in Texas we have a more modest view of government,” he added before inviting them to relocate from Chicago and bring jobs to Texas.

Cruz thanked the gun makers for their support of the Second Amendment, writing that it is “unfortunate that ambitious politicians would try to impose financial harm or even drive your companies out of business in order to further their own political agendas.”

Cruz was just warming up.

He moved onto Emanuel, asserting that Emanuel’s reported requests for the banks to stop doing business with the gun makers calls into doubt the assertions of President Obama and Washington Democrats that they do not seek to strip Americans of Second Amendment rights.

Repeating his description of Emanuel as a bully, Cruz also offered the gun makers a haven in the Lone Star State.

Cruz then said Emanuel had to pay $1.1 million of taxpayer money in legal fees in his battle over the Second Amendment.

The concluding four sentences hit hard:

“And, your city’s longstanding policies stripping citizens of their constitutional right to keep and bear arms have, in turn, produced some of the very highest crime and murder rates in the Nation.

Your continued anti-gun crusade may well cause some to wonder if the interests of the citizens of Chicago are being sacrificed in pursuit of a partisan agenda.

Regardless, directing your attack at legitimate firearms manufacturers undermines the Second Amendment rights of millions of Texans. In the future, I would ask that you might keep your efforts to diminish the Bill of Rights north of the Red River.”

How do you really feel, Ted?

The letter is further evidence of why Cruz, a former Harvard Law Review editor and champion debater, is seen as a rising star in Republican conservative circles.

He certainly got a positive response on Twitter.

“#RahmEmanuel is a tiny twirp who finally has power,” Gina Calabrese wrote. “I bet when he was a kid no one wanted to play with him. Avenger!”

Shane Wright wrote, “Amen, bring em on! We’ll boom while they bust, sounds like a plan to me.”

And Smith & Wesson heralded Cruz’s “overwhelming support.”

The letter and ensuing commentary come the same day that Chicago Reader political ace Ben Joravsky asserted that Emanuel does indeed plan to seek the presidency.

We reached out to Emanuel to hear what he had to say about being called out as a gun-hating, partisan and insincere bully whose policies have led to the deaths of hundreds of Chicago citizens.

Communications Director Sarah Hamilton had the following response:

“No sportsman needs a military assault weapon, and no criminal needs access to a gun. The Senator is putting the safety of our nation’s children and police officers at risk, for the profit of a few gun manufacturers who stand in the way of reform. Mayor Emanuel reached out to a number of financial institutions and asked them to join in the effort to push gun manufacturers to support commonsense gun reforms. I don’t know why the Senator from Texas would want to mess with that.”

It’s likely that the paths of these two ambitious and assertive politicians will cross again.

At that point, we’ll be able to determine who should have messed with whom.

For now, though, we do know that the opening salvo has been fired.

We’ll keep you posted on the next round, too.