Senator Ted Cruz has been one of the darlings of the Tea Party ever since he got elected. But as happens from time to time in life, reality catches up to us all and Ted Cruz is no different. His vitriolic approach to governance electrifies the GOP base and rabid conservative talk show hosts, but does little for anyone else. It makes it especially hard to get anything accomplished, legislation-wise, since you can't pass bills all by yourself. Holding your breath until you turn blue over Obamacare does not make one a leader of the people.
Trying to force a party who holds the White House by using the debt ceiling is a new concept and there's a reason for that. You don't play with the full faith and credit of our nation because you want to attack a group like Planned Parenthood. It's unseemly, childish and dangerous.
Host Chuck Todd brought this point up to Senator Cruz on Sunday's Meet The Press, who had a hard time trying to explain himself.
CHUCK TODD: I'm trying to figure out though how you're gonna unite your party because let me-- let me-- I'm just gonna read you quotes from your fellow Republicans. Senator Lamar Alexander said this about you. "In kindergarten, you learn to work well together and play by the rules. Another thing you learn in kindergarten is to respect one another."
Senator Orrin Hatch, "Squabbling and sanctimony may be tolerated in other venues or perhaps on the campaign trail but they have no place among colleagues in the US Senate." John McCain, "I would never contemplate going to the floor of the Senate, impugning the integrity of another senator, just not something we do here."
This was about what you said about Mitch McConnell. And, of course, Speaker Boehner called you a, "false prophet," and another word that I'm not gonna say on Sunday morning television. How do you unite this par-- how do you lead a Republican party when Orrin Hatch, Lamar Alexander, John McCain, John Boehner, these are well respected men, think this lowly of you?
SEN. TED CRUZ: Listen, if-- if you're looking for a candidate who the career politicians in Washington will embrace, I'm not your guy. Washington's broken. People are frustrated outta their minds. Everyone in the Republican primary is standing up saying, "Vote for me because I will stand up and fight Washington."
Two weeks ago, we had an epic, knock down, drag out fight on exactly this.
Millions of conservatives rose up, said, "defund Planned Parenthood." Again I was proud to lead that fight. And where were the other candidates? It's-- it was like they were in the witness protection plan. Can you imagine how different that fight would have played out if all 11 Republican presidential candidates had descended on Washington and said in one voice, "Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, don't send five hundred million dollars of taxpayer funds to Planned Parenthood?"
CHUCK TODD: You know, there's another way to look at this, Senator Cruz, which is you stood up on Obamacare, you stood up on Planned Parenthood, you stood up on immigration and nobody follows you.
SEN. TED CRUZ:Well, that-- that's--
I mean-- I'm-- I'm just saying nobody in Washington follows you.
SEN. TED CRUZ:I-- look--
CHUCK TODD:You have to-- if you get elected President, you gotta get somebody to follow your lead in Washington whether you like it or not.
SEN. TED CRUZ:Listen, at the end of the day, it-- it's not about Republican leadership. And by the way in each of those fights, just about every time we've had a battle between me and leadership with a Republican caucus, about 1/2 of the caucus has been with me. About 1/2 of the caucus has been with leadership.
At the end of the day, if you're looking for someone who's running to be a member of the club, that's not me. You know, it's interesting. You were reading all the attacks. You know, I mention in my book, my book, I quote all of the nasty things Republicans have said about me. And, you know, in response to that, I don't reciprocate much to the annoyance of many in the media who want me to attack Donald Trump, want me to attack Mitch McConnell, want me to attack John Boehner. I don't attack any of them.
I've never seen a politician so proactively attack his leadership in Congress and his fellow Republicans like Cruz has. You can't claim to be an outsider when you're a sitting Senator and his colleagues will not forget his behavior.
I eventually see him going the way of Jim DeMint in a few years.