WASHINGTON ― He claimed during the campaign that his opponent illegally funded a caravan of migrants approaching the U.S. border, but now that he’s won re-election, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) doesn’t want to talk about it anymore.
“I’m happy to talk about policy, but there’s no point in revisiting the campaign itself,” Cruz said during a brief interview in a Senate elevator.
The week before the election, Cruz said campaign staffers for his Democratic challenger, Rep. Beto O’Rourke, had given campaign funds to illegal immigrants. He said in a tweet that every reporter should ask O’Rourke if he used campaign dollars to “illegally fund” the migrant caravan, a supposed national security threat President Donald Trump had been hyping.
On Wednesday, the question had lost its urgency.
“As I said, the election is over,” Cruz said.
An undercover video by a conservative propagandist James O’Keefe had inspired Cruz’s caravan claims. The video showed O’Rourke staffers talking about buying food and blankets for migrants who had apparently been taken in by a Texas church after having been dropped off by federal immigration authorities at an El Paso bus station.
O’Keefe claimed the video showed staffers talking about illegally misusing funds to assist illegal immigrants, but it’s legal to donate campaign funds to charity and it’s legal to enter the U.S. to seek asylum. The people at the church had apparently followed the legal process and were awaiting a resolution of their claims.
The O’Rourke campaign said it would properly inform the Federal Election Commission of the goods its staffers had donated.
The so-called migrant caravan is a separate group of immigrants who at the time were hundreds of miles away in Mexico. As of Wednesday afternoon, some had reached the U.S. border.
Trump had said without evidence that the group contains terrorists and “unknown Middle Easterners,” but since last week’s elections, he’s basically stopped talking about it.
Cruz didn’t want to talk about his O’Rourke allegation, but he was willing to say the migrants should be stopped.
“I think we should devote whatever resources are necessary to prevent the so-called caravan from crossing illegally into this country,” he said.