Texas Freshman Sen. Ted Cruz took his opposition to President Obama to the next level in a tweet Tuesday night when he declared himself an “Obamaphobic” and invited others to join him.
If supporting real immigration reform, not path to citizenship is “Obamaphobia,” guilty as charged. RT if you’re a fellow “Obamaphobic!”
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) June 12, 2013
As of Wednesday morning, he had less than 1,000 fellow tweeters embracing their Obamaphobia too, with about 700 retweets and 100 favorites.
Cruz’s tweet was likely inspired by Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez, who diagnosed Cruz with the Obamaphobia on msnbc’s Jansing & Co. this week.
“I think he has Obamaphobia,” Menendez said Tuesday. “The reality is that it is the ‘Gang of Eight’ that came together—four Democrats, four Republicans—and said that we need a path to citizenship.”
Vice President Joe Biden marveled at Cruz’s increasing influence in the GOP Tuesday night during a fundraiser for Massachusetts Senate candidate Ed Markey.
“Have you ever seen a time when two freshman senators are able to cower the bulk of the Republican Party in the Senate? That is not hyperbole,” he said to the crowd, according to the Washington Post.
“On the gun issue, I don’t care what your position is — I called 17 senators out, nine of whom were Republicans,” he continued. “Not one of them offered an explanation on the merits of why they couldn’t vote for the background check. But almost to a person, they said, ‘I don’t want to take on Ted Cruz. I don’t want to take on Rand Paul. They’ll be in my district.’”
Biden said he found the political power of the two freshman senators shocking.
“I actually said, ‘Are you kidding? These are two freshman,’” Biden said. “They’re not bad guys, and they’re both very bright guys. And I’m not questioning their motive.”
While Cruz and Paul may have kept Republicans from voting for gun control legislation, Cruz’s influence on immigration reform was markedly different on Tuesday, with drastically fewer Republicans voting in lock-step with the Texas freshman. The number of Republicans who did vote to open debate on the legislation (which included Rand Paul) outnumbered those who voted against it two-to-one. Even House Speaker John Boehner appears optimistic that immigration reform can pass the Republican-controlled House.
Cruz and Menendez may be the first politicians to publicly discuss the concept of Obamaphobia, but it’s been around since before the president was elected. According to the Internet crowd-sourced record Urban Dictionary, the term was first coined back in July of 2008.
The most popular definition: “A condition wherein someone suffers from obsessive negative delusions regarding Barack Obama.”