Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, attacked Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) again for his defunding Obamacare strategy, this time saying Cruz dragged Republicans “across broken glass for no purpose.”
Norquist complained to Newsmax that Cruz “hurled invective and nasty stuff at every single Republican who had a track record longer than Ted Cruz’s of opposing Obamacare and voting against it… they were RINOs [Republicans in name only] if they didn’t like his tactic.”
He failed to mention the relentless assault that Cruz and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), the architect of the defunding strategy, faced from the Republican establishment on and off the record. Rush Limbaugh has fiercely defended Cruz and Lee from establishment figures who never gave the defunding strategy a chance, only to come on board at the very last minute after they had poisoned public opinion against it for months.
“No one’s questioning his conservative credentials,” Norquist said. “It’s his wisdom and his judgment and the name-calling that he has thrown at every Republican in the House and the Senate.”
Norquist criticized Cruz and also complained about groups that sent “insulting emails and questioned the manhood and the patriotism and the bravery of every Republican who didn’t agree with their strategy.”
“Arithmetic told you this strategy that Ted had was never going to work.”
Cruz has said he was just holding Republicans to their word who promised their constituents and got elected primarily vowing to repeal Obamacare, but Norquist said Cruz needed to “explain to Republicans why he just spent several months and then several weeks dragging them across broken glass for no purpose.”
As Rush Limbaugh and others have noted though, Cruz’s fierce support for defunding Obamacare has exposed Obamacare’s weaknesses and hurt the president’s popularity. In addition, Cruz and Lee always said that for the defunding strategy to work, Republicans first had to be united in order to convince and pressure Democrats in red states to support it.
That never happened because establishment Republicans like Norquist spent months trashing the defunding strategy more than Obamacare.
In other interviews, Norquist has also said Cruz pushed Republicans into traffic before wandering away and even demanded that Cruz apologize to Republicans Norquist claimed Cruz “misled.”