On Thursday, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) blasted Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) for not being more like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), whom he praised effusively during the budget fight. He also predicted that Cruz and the Tea Party have peaked.
“I’ve talked to Mitch [McConnell] about this. I think the whole Republican Senate is different now,” Schumer said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, according to The Hill. “I don’t think Ted Cruz will recover so quickly. I think the Tea Party and Ted Cruz have peaked.”
He also called McConnell a “profile-in-courage” and said Americans will now see “more of a mainstream Republican Party,” one that is more in line with the sentiments of those like McConnell whose “courage” Schumer praised after having “learned a lesson here.”
McConnell and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) agreed on a deal to temporarily re-open the government and raise the debt ceiling in which Republicans essentially got nothing except for more bad press. Republicans and Democrats gloated that Cruz’s Obamacare defunding strategy failed, even though, as Cruz has noted, Americans suffering because of Obamacare got no relief during the budget negotiations.
“I don’t think we’re going to see the same kind of brinksmanship on Jan. 15 and Feb. 7,” Schumer said, referring to the dates on which deals must be negotiated to avoid another government shutdown and to raise the debt ceiling, respectively, as part of the deal to re-open the government.
“You listened to Ted Cruz’s speech on the Senate floor yesterday. He’s in his own world. He thinks the American people are behind him,” Schumer said before saying that he thought the Obamacare defunding strategy was “a Rubicon…in a certain sense.”