Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX), who was promoting Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) as a viable presidential candidate just 10 days ago, challenged him on Monday to give up his paycheck in the increasingly likely event of a federal government shutdown.
“Ted, put your money where your mouth is,” Farenthold said in an interview with MSNBC host Al Sharpton. “I would consider it to be immoral to take a paycheck when the people in the federal government were not. Absolutely.”
Farenthold called Cruz out after seeing a clip of his fellow Texan punting on the issue of giving up his own salary, saying in a video interview, “I will confess, it is a question I have not given significant thought to. At the current time I have no intention to do so.”
“How can somebody stand on principle, but they sacrifice others’ paychecks, and not their own?” Sharpton asked Farenthold.
Farenthold also downplayed the effects of a potential shuttering of many government offices, telling Sharpton that in past occasions, employees affected were paid the salary they lost while their jobs were put on hold.
Sharpton countered that what Farenthold described as a “paid vacation” would only apply to people who could afford to ride out however long a prospective shutdown would last.
“People that live check to check, people that can make it only because of that paycheck, that is not much comfort to them, if in fact you have a long shutdown” Sharpton told Farenthold.
Watch the interview, aired Monday on MSNBC, below.