In a humiliating defeat, HuffPost was forced to issue a correction Friday after the left-leaning outlet published a tweet claiming GOP Sen. Ted Cruz (TX) “told his biggest lie yet” in a recent critique of Democrats’ efforts to “pack” the Supreme Court.
Pushback from Republicans has escalated in recent weeks as congressional Dems have issued formal proposals to expand the Supreme Court bench by four seats, effectively giving President Joe Biden the chance to swing the ideological tilt of the high court back to the left after his predecessor appointed three new conservative jurists during his tenure.
Packing the court?
Cruz, for his part, pointed out last Thursday that Republicans didn’t add seats to the bench when they had control of the House, Senate, and White House, as Democrats currently do.
“We had a Republican president, a Republican Senate, and a Republican House,” Cruz said at a press conference, alongside GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham (SC) and Marsha Blackburn (TN). “We didn’t do this. We could have.”
The Texas lawmaker went on: “You didn’t see Republicans when we had control of the Senate try to rig the game. You didn’t see us try to pack the Court.”
According to Fox News, HuffPost drew the ire of critics when it claimed Cruz had lied when he suggested “Republicans never engaged in court-packing when they controlled the White House and Congress.” Backing up their argument, HuffPost reportedly said the GOP “loved ramming judges through the system” while Donald Trump was president, “including at least 174 district court judges and 54 appeals court judges.”
Of course, as Fox and other critics noted, filling judicial vacancies is a far cry from actually adding new seats for partisan purposes. Amid the blowback, HuffPost tried to clarify that the “dishonesty” from Cruz “lies in the claim that Republicans never ‘rigged the game.'”
Sen. Ted Cruz delivered a whopper on the courts. (Correction: An earlier version said that Cruz lied about court packing. The dishonesty lies in the claim that Republicans never “rigged the game.”) pic.twitter.com/6JhLTmtVJj
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) April 23, 2021
“It’s patently absurd”
But Cruz and his supporters aren’t buying it.
In a statement to Fox News, a spokesperson for the Texas senator accused HuffPost of “partaking in the new liberal trend to redefine words.”
“They have erroneously conflated filling judicial vacancies with ‘court-packing’ and then based on that conflation, accused Sen. Cruz of gaslighting,” Cruz’s spokesperson told Fox.
“It’s patently absurd and if anyone’s guilty of gaslighting, it’s the editors at HuffPost,” the spokesperson added.