Ted Cruz & John McCain Butt Heads Over A Gun Discussion That Never Happened

The GOP might be largely united in its hostility towards President Obama, but tension within the party is occasionally palpable to the public. The disdain between some of the most prominent Republican lawmakers was made public on Monday, when John McCain ridiculed Ted Cruz over the gun discussion that the latter claimed they had.

McCain relentlessly ridiculed the presidential hopeful over his pronouncement that he was "pressing" McCain to call for hearings on whether soldiers should be allowed to carry their own concealed weapons onto military bases, because as far as McCain knew, he said, that exchange never happened. The Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman, expressed bemusement at Cruz's gaffe:

McCain went on teasing the right-wing presidential contender:

Andrew Burton/Getty Images News/Getty Images

While campaigning for president in New Hampshire on Monday, Cruz had told gun owners that he was pushing McCain to have a "public discussion about why we’re denying our soldiers the ability to exercise their Second Amendment rights," Politico reported.

Following McCain's response, Cruz backtracked on Monday, saying that he had "misspoken." In an interview on Fox News, Cruz said:

Darren McCollester/Getty Images News/Getty Images

His office also issued a defense, saying that Cruz had raised the issue last year at a hearing and sent a letter to the former Senate Armed Services Chairman, Democrat Carl Levin, to request that the Defense Department and outside authorities address the committee on allowing soldiers to be armed on military bases. Cruz's office also told Politico that he is working on a similar letter to McCain, who succeeded Levin as chairman early this year when the Republicans took over the Senate.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The move proved to be a slight embarrassment for Cruz, whose presidential campaign aims at winning the ultra-conservative vote. The disdain between McCain and Cruz has been made public before: McCain called Cruz — and the other GOP presidential hopeful Sen. Rand Paul — among some of the Senate's "wacko birds" on the right, though he later apologized.

Both are at loggerheads on the gun debate, as well. McCain was one of the four Senate Republicans who voted for the gun regulation bill in 2013, whose defeat, according to Politico, was led by Cruz.

Image: Getty Images (3)