On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Monday, host Joe Scarborough hammered Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on his effort to defund “Obamacare” by way of threatening to shutdown the federal government.
“I’ve not been saying that Ted Cruz is an idiot because he’s on the wrong side of the issue. I’ve been saying he’s acting like an idiot because of the tactics he’s using,” Scarborough said. He continued:
Listen, there’s not a Republican who doesn’t think Obamacare is an absolutely horrible piece of legislation that is not good for this country. Yes it’s passed. Yes, it’s the law of the land. Americans don’t like it. it hasn’t been implemented yes. And I’m all for — let’s stop showing Ted Cruz, okay? Can we stop showing video of this guy? … It’s not a visceral reaction. We’re building this guy up so much and now he’s just desperate not to look like the biggest fool in D.C. He’s scrambling.”
We’ve requested comment from Cruz’s office.
Update: A spokesperson for Cruz got back to us a little late (she was very apologetic) with the following: “[I]t is democrats who are threatening to shut down the government by refusing to consider a bill that Americans want a vote on.”
A bill passed the House last week which continues to temporarily fund the government but removes funding for Obamacare. Cruz has said he will filibuster the bill in the Senate if funding for Obamacare is reinserted by Democrats.
Scarborough, a former Republican representative himself, is an outspoken critic of Cruz. Back in August, he accused Cruz of “strengthening [President] Obama” by “pushing things that will never work.”
Several Republicans have sided with Cruz and his strategy to defund Obamacare. Sen. Tom Cobrugh (R-Okla.), however, said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday that it’s “not a tactic that we can actually carry out.”