Ted Cruz: SNL’s Lorne Michaels could be thrown in jail if Dems undo ‘Citizens United’
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said “Saturday Night Live” creator Lorne Michaels could be thrown in jail if a Constitutional amendment on campaign finance is passed.
The Tea Party conservative said Tuesday on the Senate floor that the Democratic proposal, which faces a vote Wednesday, would give Congress the authority to prohibit corporations from engaging in political speech, reported Politico.
“Well, NBC — which airs ‘Saturday Night Live’ — is a corporation,” Cruz said.
Cruz displayed a board showing comedians from the show impersonating various political figures, and the senator made a brief attempt to imitate Dana Carvey’s famous impersonation of former President George H.W. Bush.
“I grew up watching ‘Saturday Night Live’; I love ‘Saturday Night Live,’” Cruz said. “’Saturday Night Live’ over the years has had some of the most tremendous political satire. Who can forget in 2008, ‘Saturday Night Live’s’ wickedly funny characterization of the Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin?”
“It was wickedly funny and also [had] a profoundly powerful effect on people’s assessment of Gov. Palin, who’s a friend of mine, ” he added.
Cruz said the proposed amendment, which would essentially undo the U.S. Supreme Court’s controversial decision in the Citizens United case, could criminalize political satire.
“Congress would have the power to make it a criminal offense,” Cruz warned. “Lorne Michaels could be put in jail under this amendment for making fun of any politician. That is extraordinary. It is breathtaking and it is dangerous.”
Cruz said he asked Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), a former SNL actor and writer, whether he believed Congress should ban political satire.
“Now the good senator promptly assured me he had no intention of doing any such thing,” Cruz said.
Cruz is an outspoken opponent of the measure proposed by Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM), which would allow the federal government and states to once again regulate the raising and spending of money in elections — as they did before the Citizens United decision.
He previously told a group of pastors that Democrats would “repeal the First Amendment” with the proposal, which stands virtually no chance of passage.
Watch Cruz’s remarks in this video posted online by Les Grossman 2014: