On Thursday, former Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said that the Gang of Three – Senators Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) – had provoked Democrats into trying to change traditional Senate rules. Cruz said on Thursday on the floor of the Senate that old-school Republicans had been working with Democrats to spend more money and raise the debt ceiling. Such Republicans, Cruz said, “would very much like to cast a symbolic vote against raising the debt ceiling and nonetheless to allow our (Democratic) friends on the left side of the aisle to raise the debt ceiling.” Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) said something similar earlier in the day.
Then McCain went off. He ripped on the Tea Party senators, stating that the set-upon Democrats would surely react by attempting to curb Republican minority rights. “That would be the most disastrous outcome that I could ever imagine,” said McCain. He added, “Isn’t it a little bizarre … Basically what we are saying here on this (Republican) side of the aisle is that we don’t trust our colleagues on the other side of the Capitol who are in the majority, Republicans.”
Cruz responded that he didn’t trust Republicans. “I don’t trust the Republicans,” he said. “And I don’t trust the Democrats. I think a whole lot of Americans likewise don’t trust the Republicans and the Democrats, because it is leadership in both parties that has gotten us in this mess.”
McCain recently retweeted a Wall Street Journal editorial critical of Cruz. He has also termed the new Tea Party senators “wacko birds.”
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).