Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform, slammed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Wednesday and accused him of abandoning House Republicans in the budget battle.
Norquist told the Washington Post that Cruz came out “from left field” and “said we have to defund Obamacare permanently.” He then complained that “people went out on talk radio and said if you’re not for this you’re a coward, you’re a RINO.”
Norquist said because Cruz “didn’t deliver any Democratic votes,” he “pushed House Republicans into traffic and wandered away” without mentioning that many House Republicans only joined Cruz and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) in the fight to defund Obamcare in the very last moments after Cruz and Lee, along with groups like Tea Party Patriots and ForAmerica and conservative stalwarts like former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, awakened the conservative grassroots in opposition to Obamcare funding.
Norquist’s American for Tax Reform supported the initial House “gimmick” for a symbolic vote on Obamacare funding that conservatives revolted against. The House Republican leadership ultimately tabled that plan.
Norquist also said the idea was to delay Obamacare without “humiliating” President Barack Obama and claimed that “every Republican” is for the repeal of Obamacare. He asserted that Republicans could have received concessions on Obamacare before blaming the government shutdown on Cruz and perhaps conceding Cruz may have more influence in the House than Boehner, saying because Republicans “started with the Cruz approach this got to the shutdown.”