“Don’t mess with Texas.” That’s the message Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has for Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, after he issued high-profile complaints this week about President Donald Trump’s support for the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union.
“The newly elected U.S. president was happy that the Brexit was taking place and has asked other countries to do the same,” said Juncker, who later warned, “if he goes on like that, I am going to promote the independence of Ohio and Austin, Texas, in the United States of America.”
Cruz was not amused.
“I think petty jabs from European leaders are not helpful,” Cruz told the Washington Examiner.
“My simple message to Juncker is: Don’t mess with Texas,” Cruz said. “His silly jabs are not productive, undermine the American-EU relationship, and disrespect the sovereign will of the British people, who cast their votes and made their wishes quite clear.”
Juncker issued his warning to Trump just one day after the United Kingdom invoked Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, thereby officially starting the process to remove the United Kingdom from the European Union.
As president of the European Commission, Juncker is one of the most powerful voices in Europe. Composed of 28 commissioners plus its president, the EC is responsible for representing the European Union overseas and serves as the EU executive branch. Every member state is represented in the EC.
Cruz’s comments come just days after a Polish politician criticized Juncker for his behavior while meeting with Pope Francis. In the letter by Krystyna Pawłowicz, the Polish member of Parliament said Juncker’s “obvious alcohol dependency” has made him a “problem of the entire European community,” according to a report by LifeZette.
“Particularly distasteful and out of place was your behavior during the last audience with Pope Francis,” wrote Pawłowicz.
Juncker is about halfway through his five-year term as president.