Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) were smiling and laughing with each other in a joint interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Thursday morning. Hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, along with the rest of us, had to pinch ourselves to believe our eyes. The two have made no secret of their animosity for one another in the past.
At the outset of the interview, Graham even turned to Cruz to say he was sorry for saying he “should be killed on the Senate floor.”
After the jocose apologies were made, Cruz and Graham explained what brought them together. They want the U.S. to stop sending money to the United Nations. They, like many Americans, are incensed over the UN resolution that condemned Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. They have introduced a bill that would end U.S. taxpayer funding of the UN until they reverse the anti-Israel policy.
“Twenty-two percent of the money to fund the UN comes from the American taxpayer,” Graham explained. “I don't think it's a good investment for the American taxpayer to give money to an organization that condemns the only democracy in the Mideast, and takes the settlement issue and says that's the most important and only issue in terms of an impediment to peace. I begged the UN months before, don't put me in this box. This was John Kerry and Obama taking a slap at Israel. We're going to push back. I think most Americans believe that the United Nations has become more anti-Semitic, more anti-Israeli. And I’m a big internationalist, but we're going to stop the money until we get this fixed. I appreciate Ted's leadership on this.”
“If you cut off their money, you get their attention,” Cruz agreed.
The two senators were also in agreement over their distrust of Russia’s Vladimir Putin. They hope the Trump administration will lead on how to deal with his aggression, starting with the enforcement of sanctions.
If there’s anything that can bring two political foes like Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham together, it’s America’s national security and friendship with Israel.