Politics

Jen Psaki reminds reporter that she “blissfully” doesn’t work for Ted Cruz

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds a press briefing on Friday August 6, 2021, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds a press briefing on Friday August 6, 2021, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House.Photo: Official White House Photo by Erin Scott

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki refused to defend Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) when a journalist asked why Cruz was very happy that Donald Trump promised to pick a woman for the Supreme Court and followed through with Justice Amy Coney Barrett but finds it “offensive” that President Joe Biden will nominate a Black woman.

Psaki just said that she “blissfully” does not work for Cruz.

Related: Jen Psaki fires back at Ted Cruz’s threat to impeach Joe Biden

The exchange was in reference to comments Cruz made this past weekend on his podcast about Biden’s promise to nominate the first Black woman Supreme Court justice in history.

“The fact that he’s willing to make a promise at the outset that it must be a Black woman — I gotta say, that’s offensive,” Cruz said. “Black women are, what, six percent of the U.S. population? He’s saying to 94 percent of Americans: ‘I don’t give a damn about you. You are ineligible.’”

Yesterday, Psaki responded to Cruz’s words… by quoting Cruz from when Trump nominated Barrett. Cruz noted and celebrated Barrett’s identity as a woman and didn’t seem to think it was at all “offensive” to recognize the importance of diversity in leadership.

“In fact, he praised her on these grounds during- praised her on these grounds, the nominee,” Psaki said. “During her confirmation hearing, Senator Cruz said, quote, ‘I think you’re an amazing role model for little girls. What advice would you give little girls?’”

Yesterday, a reporter brought up that quotation from Cruz at the White House press briefing and asked Psaki about it: “Why do you think Republicans like Ted Cruz are acting so angry about Biden picking a Black woman for the Supreme Court, when they were very happy when Trump picked Amy Coney Barrett for the Court?”

Psaki repeated that it’s “the president’s view is the notion that there has not been a Black woman ever on the Supreme Court in 230 years is a problem with the process, not a lack of qualified, credentialed people to consider and nominate” and said the question about Cruz’s motives is something that the reporter should ask Cruz himself.

But the reporter pressed Psaki to come up with an explanation: “Why do you think- what’s the difference between Trump picking Amy Coney Barrett and saying he’d pick a woman in advance, and Biden picking a Black woman and-”

“That’s exactly why I called out this issue yesterday,” Psaki said, cutting off the reporter. “But I am blissfully not a spokesperson for Senator Cruz, so he can best answer that question.”

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