Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough slammed Texas talker Sen. Ted Cruz on Thursday for criticizing his more mainstream colleagues.
Cruz earned the ire of his Republican colleagues as he first seemed to back down on his anti-Obamacare stance and then made up for it with a 21-hour tirade against it from the Senate floor, all the while condemning those who stood in his way.
“If these people, if Charles Krauthammer is not a true Republican and if Paul Ryan is not a true Republican and if Tom Coburn is not a true Republican and if Scott Walker is not a true Republican, I’ve got bad news for them, they’re in the wrong party,” Scarborough said. “They’re actually the ones who are not Republicans.”
Former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele sparred with Scarborough, saying that there’s a huge grassroots movement that also rejects those more mainstream Republicans. Steele left the RNC in 2011, following the surge of that grassroots movement that elected dozens of Congressmen in 2010.
“It goes back to the big government spending in the Bush era that leads all the way up to now,” Steele said, adding that many far-right conservatives’ alienation with the mainstream party lead to the Tea Party movement now.
“I don’t know anything about that. I only wrote a couple of books on that. Don’t lecture me on what I know,” Scarborough fired back.
Steele held his ground.
“I’m not trying to lecture you on what I know. I’m trying to put into context why someone like a Ted Cruz has the momentum he has across the country and he’s not concerned what all those names you just listed think of him,” he said. “His audience is not Washington; his audience is much bigger than Washington and he’s trying to tap into the sentiment that exists at the grassroots level.”
But Scarborough said he’s going about it all wrong—and therein lies the crux of the Cruz problem.
“Listen that’s the insanity of the entire Ted Cruz experience. He’s lecturing people who agree with them. The only thing he’s doing is enacting a stupid tactic that is as the [Wall Street] Journal [editorial] said, like running to bayonets. I don’t need to be lectured by the guy who just ordered Pickett’s charge,” Scarborough said. “I was part of Pickett’s charge in 1995 and 1996 and we ran up that hill and Bill Clinton slaughtered us in the shutdown and all we did was reelect him. There are some people who have been here longer than a couple minutes who actually know there’s a better way to build a car, there’s a better way to beat a liberal president.”