During an interview with British Sky News reporter Mark Stone, Cruz, who was seen hugging and meeting with those at the vigil, was asked whether this was the moment to reform gun laws. Cruz responded by saying, “You know, it’s easy to go to politics.”
“But it’s important, it’s at the heart of the issue,” Stone replied, according to a video of the interview viewed more than 1 million times as of Thursday morning.
From there, the two had a tense back-and-forth about gun reform laws.
“I get that that’s where the media likes to go,” Cruz said.
The Sky News reporter replied that that was not the case, saying many of the people he spoke with at the vigil also had gun control on their minds.
“The proposals from the Democrats and the media inevitably, when some violent psychopath murders people …” Cruz said, before he was cut off by Stone. The journalist said that the alleged shooter was “a violent psychopath who’s able to get a weapon so easily — an 18-year-old with two AR-15s.”
The senator ignored him and continued: “If you want to stop violent crime, the proposals the Democrats have — none of them would have stopped this.”
Then Stone asked, “Why does this only happen in your country? …. Why only in America? Why is this American exceptionalism so awful?”
That’s when Cruz fired back: “You know, I’m sorry you think American exceptionalism is awful. You’ve got your political agenda. God love you.”
As he attempted to walk away, Stone said he just wanted “to understand why you do not think that guns are the problem.”
“It is just an American problem,” the journalist said to Cruz.
At the end of the exchange, Cruz again ignored the journalist’s question and accused Stone of pushing propaganda before walking away.
“Why is it that people come from all over the world to America? Because it’s the freest, most prosperous, safest country on Earth,” the senator said. “Stop being a propagandist.”