Ted Cruz says people hug him on planes for protesting vaccination mandates.
A clip of Texas Senator Ted Cruz claiming that every week “almost without exception” people on flights hug him and thank him for speaking out against vaccination mandates has gone viral.
the clip, posted on Twitter by The Recount, was recorded while Cruz was speaking to the media after a meeting with the leaders of the “Convoy of the People” and fellow Republican Senator Ron Johnson.
The meeting between the two lawmakers and the group of truckers was staged as hundreds of vehicles drove down the Capital Beltway outside Washington DC as part of their vague protest over COVID-19 restrictions and the extension of the national COVID emergency.
While discussing the meeting, which was billed as being about the “harmful effects of President Biden’s vaccine mandates,” Cruz told a story about how people on planes are thanking him for trying to stop restrictions and rules targeting federal employees and the big companies.
“Every week, I fly back and forth to Houston. Almost without exception, every time I’m on a plane, the captain or a flight attendant comes up to me and hugs me and says thank you for fighting for us.” Cruz said.
“Because I will tell you that United Airlines, unfortunately, Houston is a hub for them, they have laid off thousands of pilots and flight attendants. What difference does it make? We are in the District of Columbia, right now there are mandates that affect children in DC This is wrong,” Cruz added.
The clip has been viewed more than 1.9 million times since it was posted on Twitter on Tuesday.
Several people disputed Cruz’s claims about people hugging him on flights, as the video was widely shared on social media.
Others also pointed out that Cruz widely exaggerated that United Airlines had fired “thousands” of pilots and flight attendants for refusing to comply with the vaccination mandate, with the true figure being around 200.
Questioning United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby during a Senate Commerce Committee hearing in December 2021, Cruz claimed that 2,000 United employees have been placed on unpaid leave, but not laid off while seeking waivers. of vaccination mandates.
Others also used the clip to mock Cruz for flying to Cancun, Mexico in February 2021 while Texas was experiencing a major winter freeze and massive power outages.
Emily Brandwein, a former CIA employee turned podcast host, tweeted: “If you think flight attendants and captains hug Ted Cruz all the time, I have two Cancun tickets to sell you.”
While sharing the clip, comedian and actor David Cross wrote, “ESPECIALLY on flights to Cancun. Tears in eyes. Sobs of humility.”
Journalist Lance Gould tweeted: “Thousands more people made the ‘nobody wants to hug Ted Cruz’ joke than United fired.”
TCM presenter Ben Mankiewicz said: “The key to a good lie is to include as much truth as possible. There was no need to add the ‘hold me’ part. Now everyone knows it’s all made up. Have you ever been to Houston?”
In response to the criticism, Cruz tweeted: “Leftists are shocked that people don’t like getting fired over unconstitutional anti-vaccine mandates…”
Cruz has been contacted for further comment.