Updated at 11 a.m.
Washington – Sen Chris Murphy said a third-party ad supporting Sen. Ted Cruz’s White House bid “makes me want to throw up” because it said the GOP presidential candidate “stopped Obama’s push for gun control laws” in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings.
“If Ted Cruz wants to brandish his pro-gun credentials to Republican primary voters, that’s his right,” Murphy said in a scorching statement. “But it’s sick that he thinks he’ll win votes by specifically pointing out that in the wake of 20 dead first graders, he was the face of the fight to ensure no action was taken to stop more deranged killers from walking into elementary schools with military-style assault weapons loaded with 30-round clips of ammunition.”
The aim of the Courageous Conservatives PAC’s 60-second spot was to attack Cruz rival Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. A voiceover repeatedly asks “what’s Rubio ever done?”
But the end of the ad, scheduled to air in key primary state Iowa, is devoted to praising Cruz, R-Texas.
“After Sandy Hook, Ted Cruz stopped Obama’s push for new gun control laws,” the ad says.
Several months after the mass shooting in Newtown, nearly all Senate Republicans – Rubio, too — voted against a bill that would expand FBI background checks of gun buyers. That opposition derailed the bill, which needed 60 votes in the Senate to proceed.”
“The new Ted Cruz ad makes me want to throw up, and I’m pretty sure that’s a feeling shared by many who lived through the horror of Sandy Hook,” Murphy said.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal also took issue with the super PAC ad’s message
“I’m astonished & appalled. Blocking gun violence prevention legislation right after the Newtown tragedy is no basis to brag,” Blumenthal said in a tweet.
Rick Shaftan, spokesman for the Courageous Conservative PAC, said it is no surprise Murphy attacked the super PAC’s ad.
“He has a history of politicizing these horrible incidences,” Shaftan said. “The real tragedy is gun control and the gun-free zones he supports that led to this tragedy. There was nothing and nobody to stop Adam Lanza (the suspected Newtown shooter.)”
Murphy also said “showing off how callous he was in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting may win him some right-wing votes that get swept up from Donald Trump or Ben Carson, but it disqualifies him in a general election.”
“Middle-of-the-road, common sense voters support measures like expanded background check,” Murphy said. “But more importantly, they won’t be impressed by a campaign whose opening pitch to voters is portraying the candidate as the one senator who took on the parents of Sandy Hook in the wake of the most horrific mass shooting in our lifetime.”