Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Sunday accused President Barack Obama of starting "within minutes" to "exploit" the Newtown, Conn. elementary school massacre for political gain.
"Within minutes of that horrible tragedy in Newtown, the president began trying to exploit that tragedy to push a gun control agenda that is designed to appeal to partisans, designed to appeal to his political partisans," Cruz said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
Obama's only vow on the day of the shooting last month was to take "meaningful action" to prevent future tragedies. He formally rolled out his gun control proposals last week, which included calls for new bans on "military-style assault weapons" and high-capacity ammunition magazines.
Cruz said the new proposals "would have done zero to prevent the crime in Newtown."
"Number two, many of the provisions are contrary to the constitutional protections of the Second Amendment, and number three, they don't work," he said.
Cruz, who was elected in November with Tea Party support, has been at the forefront of the anti-gun control fight. On "Meet the Press," he called the expired assault weapons ban one of the "least successful bills that has ever put in place."
"When the ban expired there were roughly 700 murders using all rifles," he said. "Today there are roughly 300, that's less than half -- this is not designed to actually solve the problem of violent crime, this is designed to assuage liberal partisans who want to push gun control."