(Photo: Screen Grab via YouTube/WeNeedASavageNation)
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) called out what he saw as a "sad" effort to use the Trayvon Martin tragedy to undermine "Stand Your Ground" laws at a hearing on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, and frankly told the dead teen's mother, Sybrina Fulton, and the rest of the audience that the laws had nothing to do with his death.
In a five minute clip of his remarks posted to YouTube on Tuesday, Cruz empathized with Fulton loss as a parent, but highlighted that the Hispanic-Caucasian man, George Zimmerman, who gunned down her son after an altercation last year did not use "Stand Your Ground" as a defense when he was acquitted of the teen's murder this summer.
"Every parent understands the mourning you are feeling and it is always a tragedy when a child loses his life. Please know that we are all feeling your loss and express our very sincerest condolences," said Cruz.
"Much of the discussion this afternoon has concerned with the tragic circumstances of the Trayvon Martin case and none of us in this hearing room were there that night. None of us knows precisely what happened," he explained.
Cruz then highlighted that "Stand Your Ground" laws are not racist as some opponents of the legislation would have people believe because they help blacks as much as whites.
"Sadly we know that some in our political process have a desire to exploit that tragic, violent incident for agendas that have nothing to do with that young man who lost his life. We have seen efforts to undermine the verdict of the jury and, more broadly, to inflame racial tensions that I think are sad and irresponsible," said the senator.
"I would note additionally that the chairman of this committee made a moment ago, I thought remarkable statement to the effect that no one could reasonably believe that 'Stand Your Ground' laws protect those in the African American community who are victims of violent crime.
"I think that's a remarkable statement on many, many fronts, including the fact that a great many African-Americans find themselves victims of violent crime, and have asserted this defense to defend themselves, defend their families, defend their children," he explained.
He then pointed out that the assertion was more "remarkable," because in 2004, "a state senator in Illinois by the name of Barack Obama co-sponsored an expansion of Illinois' law providing civil immunity for those who use justifiable force to defend themselves."
"The notion that stand your ground laws are some form of veiled racism may be a convenient political attack, but it is not borne out by the facts remotely," he stated.