Norquist: Cruz Must 'Apologize' to Republicans for Defunding Strategy
Continuing his relentless verbal assaults against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) for his strategy to defund Obamacare, Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform, accused Cruz last week of weakening the Republican Party. He said Cruz needed to apologize to Republicans who were supposedly misled about his strategy.
"Ted Cruz is a very bright, very serious conservative, but in this case and in a couple of cases earlier, he doesn't think through things strategically," Norquist said. "If you do something, then what will Obama do in return? What would Harry Reid do in return? When you're playing chess, the other team gets to make a move too."
After saying that Cruz was merely employing a "tactic" in other interviews, Norquist then called on Cruz to apologize for his "strategy."
"He needs to apologize to all the Republicans who were misled about this strategy that he didn't implement," Norquist told Newsmax in an interview last week.
Norquist also condescendingly said he felt Cruz is now "wise and more experienced" and he "may check with some other people" and ask, "Hey, I have an idea, what do you think?"
He may be willing to answer the question, which his staff wasn't, which his allies never did, which is, 'walk me through ... we do this and the other team tries to punch us' ... how do we get to where we're going, knowing that the other team, Obama and the Democrats and the establishment press, will be throwing marbles at our feet and lying about what we're doing all the way through it?
What Norquist failed to mention was that establishment Republicans like himself also threw stones at Cruz and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), allowing the mainstream media and Democrats to cite them and pile on in their criticism of conservatives behind the defunding Obamacare strategy, which negatively impacted public opinion. In addition, he also failed to note that Cruz said Democrats from red states would be pressured more effectively if all Republicans were united behind the defunding Obamacare strategy from the beginning, which they never were.
Establishment Republicans slammed Cruz on and off the record and only adopted his strategy after months of pressure from conservatives, which culminated in the Exempt America rally in Washington, D.C. that groups like Tea Party Patriots and ForAmerica organized. As Breitbart News has noted, Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform supported the initial House "gimmick" for a symbolic vote on Obamacare funding that conservatives revolted against and which the House Republican leadership ultimately tabled.
Norquist, who also said Cruz led Republicans into traffic and wandered away, did not mince his words when he said, "We are weaker today because of what Ted Cruz did. That was unfortunate."
"We need to learn from that, Ted Cruz needs to learn from that," Norquist said. "Republicans were misled into picking a specific fight rather than realizing this was a long-term conflict."