A Rutgers University student who found himself being cited by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) as a cautionary tale told MSNBC host Ed Schultz on Friday that Cruz distorted his story for the purposes of arguing against the Affordable Care Act.
“It’s kind of shameful for him to act as if he is acting in the best interest of young folks, while pushing for his own agenda,” John Connelly said of Cruz.
Connelly told Schultz he has never met nor spoken to Cruz or his staff. But during a 21-hour speech earlier this week, Cruz argued Connelly — who was quoted in a Sept. 14 Wall Street Journal article about unemployment among Americans under the age of 25 — was a victim of the new law.
“John Connelly thought he was on the right track in life. The son of a New Jersey auto mechanic, he was the first in his family to go to college when he enrolled in Rutgers in 2009,” Cruz said on the Senate floor. “Four years later, the 22-year-old found himself $21,000 in debt, without a permanent job and sleeping on friends’ couches in New Jersey and Brooklyn.”
But as Connelly said to Schultz, those problems weren’t caused by the new law, commonly referred to as “Obamacare.”
“It seems kind of bizarre that he’s blaming a law that was passed in 2010 on trends that go back well past 2007,” Connelly explained, adding that little more than half of Americans in his age bracket have full-time jobs, while battling dwindling pay and rising housing and tuition debt.
“It was almost as if he told his office to go out and find the worst example of the point he was trying to quote,” Connelly said, adding that not only has he benefitted personally from the law, but that it allows his younger sister to seek medical treatment despite having pre-existing conditions, something that a “free market dystopia” Cruz seeks would not have permitted.
Watch Connelly describe being a political anecdote, as aired by MSNBC on Friday, below.