'I want to get the facts straight': Debate moderator booed after quibbling with Ted Cruz on Supreme Court history

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
GOP Debate Audience Boos Fact-Checking

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) engaged in a testy early CBS-debate exchange with moderator John Dickerson over President Barack Obama's plan to nominate a successor to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died suddenly earlier Saturday.

"I just want to get the facts straight for the audience. I apologize," Dickerson said.

SEE ALSO: Ted Cruz speaks Spanish on debate stage as he and Marco Rubio accuse each other of 'lies'

But the audience wasn't content with the apology and loudly booed the moderator.

Dickerson had just quibbled with Cruz's history of Supreme Court nominations. Cruz had stated that the US has "80 years of precedent of not confirming Supreme Court justices in an election year."

"I'm sorry to interrupt," Dickerson began.

See more from the GOP debate in South Carolina:

22 PHOTOS
CBS News - GOP Debate in South Carolina
See Gallery
'I want to get the facts straight': Debate moderator booed after quibbling with Ted Cruz on Supreme Court history
Republican presidential candidates, from left, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, businessman Donald Trump, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson take the stage before the CBS News Republican presidential debate at the Peace Center, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Greenville, S.C. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Republican presidential candidates, from left, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, businessman Donald Trump, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson participate during the CBS News Republican presidential debate at the Peace Center, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Greenville, S.C. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Republican presidential candidate, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush poses for a photograph after the CBS News Republican presidential debate at the Peace Center, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Greenville, S.C. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz (L)and Marco Rubio (R) applaud as fellow candidate Donald Trump (C) is introduced during the CBS News Republican Presidential Debate in Greenville, South Carolina, February 13, 2016. / AFP / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
GREENVILLE, SC - FEBRUARY 13: Republican presidential candidates (L-R) Donald Trump and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) participate in a CBS News GOP Debate February 13, 2016 at the Peace Center in Greenville, South Carolina. Residents of South Carolina will vote for the Republican candidate at the primary on February 20. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., right, right, speaks to Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump during a commercial break during the CBS News Republican presidential debate at the Peace Center, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Greenville, S.C. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
GREENVILLE, SC - FEBRUARY 13: Republican presidential candidate Ohio Governor John Kasich participates in a CBS News GOP Debate February 13, 2016 at the Peace Center in Greenville, South Carolina. Residents of South Carolina will vote for the Republican candidate at the primary on February 20. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump speaks during the CBS News Republican presidential debate at the Peace Center, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Greenville, S.C. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Republican presidential candidate, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, left, speaks as Republican presidential candidate, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush listens during the CBS News Republican presidential debate at the Peace Center, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Greenville, S.C. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Republican presidential candidate, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush responds to Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump during the CBS News Republican presidential debate at the Peace Center, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Greenville, S.C. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump speaks during the CBS News Republican presidential debate at the Peace Center, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Greenville, S.C. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Republican presidential candidates, from left, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, businessman Donald Trump, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson participate during the CBS News Republican presidential debate at the Peace Center, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Greenville, S.C. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio gives a thumbs up after the CBS News Republican Presidential Debate in Greenville, South Carolina, February 13, 2016. / AFP / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks during the CBS News Republican presidential debate at the Peace Center, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Greenville, S.C. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., right, speaks with Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump during the CBS News Republican presidential debate at the Peace Center, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Greenville, S.C. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Republican presidential candidates, from left, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, businessman Donald Trump, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson participate during the CBS News Republican presidential debate at the Peace Center, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Greenville, S.C. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Ben Carson, retired neurosurgeon and 2016 Republican presidential candidate, speaks during the Republican presidential candidate debate sponsored by CBS News and the Republican National Committee at the Peace Center in Greenville, South Carolina, U.S., on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016. Donald Trump tops the GOP field with support from 36.3 percent of likely South Carolina Republican primary voters with Ted Cruz at 19.6 percent, according to a poll conducted for the Augusta Chronicle released on Friday. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
GREENVILLE, SC - FEBRUARY 13: Republican presidential candidates Ben Carson (R) listens to a TV crew member as Donald Trump (L) smiles during a break of a CBS News GOP Debate February 13, 2016 at the Peace Center in Greenville, South Carolina. Residents of South Carolina will vote for the Republican candidate at the primary on February 20. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., kisses his wife Jeanette Dousdebes Rubio after the CBS News Republican presidential debate at the Peace Center, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Greenville, S.C. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
2016 Republican Presidential candidates Donald Trump, president and chief executive of Trump Organization Inc., from left, Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida, and Ben Carson, retired neurosurgeon, stand on stage at the start of the Republican presidential candidate debate sponsored by CBS News and the Republican National Committee at the Peace Center in Greenville, South Carolina, U.S., on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016. Donald Trump tops the GOP field with support from 36.3 percent of likely South Carolina Republican primary voters with Ted Cruz at 19.6 percent, according to a poll conducted for the Augusta Chronicle released on Friday. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump speaks to the media in the spin room after the CBS News Republican presidential debate at the Peace Center, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Greenville, S.C. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

The two then debated the facts and the difference on whether any justices had been nominated, but not confirmed, in an election year. Dickerson noted that Justice Anthony Kennedy was confirmed in 1988, an election year, after the Senate had rejected then-President Ronald Reagan's first nominee, Robert Bork.

"But Kennedy was confirmed in '88," Dickerson said.

"No, Kennedy was confirmed in '87," Cruz replied.

"He was appointed in '87, confirmed in '88. That's the question: Is it appointing or confirming. What's the difference?" Dickerson asked.

"In this case, it's both. But if I could answer the question?" Cruz asked.

Other Republican presidential candidates also weighed in on Scalia's death and the path to replace him on the high court.

Dickerson had turned first to Republican front-runner Donald Trump, who urged the GOP-controlled Senate to "delay, delay, delay" confirmation of any justice that Obama nominates.

RELATED: 9 facts you should know about Ted Cruz:

10 PHOTOS
9 Facts you should know about Ted Cruz
See Gallery
'I want to get the facts straight': Debate moderator booed after quibbling with Ted Cruz on Supreme Court history

1) His legal name is Rafael Edward Cruz.

(Photo: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

2) His wife Heidi has worked at investment banking firm Goldman Sachs. The company told CNN Monday she will go on unpaid leave for the duration of his campaign. They met while they worked on George W. Bush's 2000 presidential campaign.​

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

3) He won his Senate seat in 2010 without ever having been elected to public office before. Prior to that he had been appointed to the office of the Solicitor General in Texas.  ​

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

4) He had a minor brush with the law in 1987 when he received a ticket for underage possession of alcohol as a senior in high school. ​

(Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

5) He has two Ivy League degrees: an undergraduate degree from Princeton, and a law degree from Harvard.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

6) He has kept a painting of himself in his office -- a picture of him as a 32-year-old arguing a case before the Supreme Court.

(AP Photo/Harry Cabluck)

7) He played a significant role in the government shutdown of 2013, leading a chorus of Republicans who refused to vote for any plan that kept the federal government running that did not also defund Obamacare. Cruz spend nearly 24 straight hours defending his position, including at one point reading the Dr. Seuss classic "Green Eggs and Ham."

(AP Photo/Senate TV)

8) His father (left) fled Cuba for the United States, worked in the oil industry and eventually became a pastor. He has made headlines for somewhat inflammatory statements, including telling an audience that President Obama should be sent "back to Kenya."

(Ron T. Ennis/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images)

9) He doesn't believe in climate change, an issue many Democrats have lampooned him for, in part because he leads the Senate's Space, Science, and Competitiveness Committee which oversees NASA.​ During a recent appearance on "Late Night with Seth Meyers" Cruz said "Debates on this should follow science and should follow data. Many of the alarmists on global warming, they’ve got a problem because the science doesn’t back them up."

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

More from Business Insider:

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners