Senators Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz appeared for a Thursday interview on MSNBC to argue for the US to defund the United Nations over its decision to condemn Israel for continuing to build settlements in the West Bank.
The two acknowledged their past animosity – Graham has repeatedly criticized Cruz on numerous issues, including his congressional brinkmanship, his stance on Syria, and his opposition to abortions in the case of rape. Graham previously joked that if the Texas senator was killed on the floor of the senate, he was so unpopular among his peers that no one would convict him.
“Love is everywhere,” Graham said during Thursday’s interview. “I want to apologize to Ted for saying he should be killed on the Senate floor.”
“At least we’re not on the senate floor now,” Cruz joked.
Both senators criticized the Obama administration’s decision to abstain from a UN vote to condemn Israel. The Obama administration contends that Israel has purposefully damaged negotiations and provoked the Palestinians by continuing to build and legalize settlements on Palestinian-claimed land.
“I don’t think it’s a good investment for the American taxpayer to give money to an organization that condemn the only democracy in the Middle East, takes the settlement issue and says, ‘That’s the most important issue and only issue that’s an impediment to peace in the Middle East,” Graham said, claiming that the UN was charting a “more anti-Semitic” trajectory.
Though they appeared to slightly disagree over whether President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, expressed satisfactory level of concern about Russia’s threat to US interests, Graham praised Cruz’s characterization of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“He’s a thug and he’s committed acts of war, I’m not at all hesitant to say so, and we need to stand up to him and resist. And it’s clear that he’s committed repeated attempts to undermine America,” Cruz said. “We need a president and an administration that recognizes those who are recognizing those who are expressing hostility to America, we need to stand up to that.”
“If [Tillerson] had given that answer, we wouldn’t be having this conversation,” Graham said. “So Ted for Secretary of State.”
“Morning Joe” host Mike Brzezinski said at the end of the interview she was glad the two worked out their differences.
“We’ll be in Reno and Vegas,” Graham joked.
Cruz piggybacked: “We’re performing all week.”