Ted Cruz: Telling The Truth Makes GOP Lawmakers’ ‘Heads Explode’ (AUDIO)

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) antics in the recent debt limit vote have drawn the ire of establishment Republicans, and he’s lashing back at them as a bunch of liars and cowards who view their constituents as “rubes.”

“In the 13 months that I’ve been in the Senate, it has become apparent to me that the single thing that Republicans fear the most — and that is when they’re forced to tell the truth. It makes their heads explode,” Cruz told conservative radio host Mark Levin in a remarkable interview posted on Thursday night.

On Wednesday, the freshman senator filibustered a “clean” debt limit bill and forced a 60-vote threshold. That meant five Republicans had to supply votes to avert default — none of them wanted to do so. The drama-filled vote stayed open for about an hour, ending with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and 11 other Republican senators taking the plunge and voting for “cloture.”

“Make no mistake about it, this was their desired outcome,” Cruz said. “A lot of Republicans wanted exactly what Barack Obama wanted, exactly what Nancy Pelosi wanted, exactly want Harry Reid wanted, which is to raise the debt ceiling but they wanted to be able to tell what they view as their foolish, gullible constituents back home that they didn’t do it. And they’re mad because, by refusing to consent to that, they had to come out in the open they had to admit what they’re doing. And nothing upsets them more.”

He warned that “hell will freeze over” before the “entrenched politicians in Washington” stand up and do the right thing. He said he recently had his staff “print out a list of three pages of Republican senators” who are criticizing him now but promised earlier to use the debt ceiling to fight for fiscal reforms.

“And then, a few months later, it’s like they think the American people are just a bunch of rubes,” Cruz said. “That we don’t remember what they say.”

Levin was fully on Cruz’s side and attacked his detractors. “I think what you’re trying to do is save the Republican Party,” he said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.
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