The policy director for Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform apologized Friday for inflammatory remarks in which he said some Tea Party supporters were “retarded” and reportedly referred to those who wanted to defund Obamacare as terrorists.
Re: My recent harsh language and over the top analogies–I apologize to one and all, esp. ATR staff. My personal fault not to be repeated.
— Ryan Ellis (@RyanLEllis) October 25, 2013
The Daily Beast reported that Ryan Ellis, on a “list serv informally called the Repeal Coalition List, comprising about 200 leading conservative activists and writers,” compared those who supported the fight to defund Obamacare as terrorists. He reportedly declared, “the Repeal Coalition was hijacked by Defund terrorists. They flew the plane in a new direction and assured us that x, y, and z would follow. Not only did they not follow, but in fact a, b, and c happened.”
He also called Tea Party activists “freaking retarded” and said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was “despicable” in a series of tweets this week. Cruz, along with Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), the strategy’s architect, led the charge to defund Obamacare.
Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform, has been the most strident critic against Cruz, representing the establishment past in their war against the conservative future. As Breitbart News has documented, Norquist has “attacked Cruz for throwing Republicans into traffic and wandering away.”
He has said Cruz has dragged Republicans across broken glass, dismissed Cruz’s “tactic,” condescendingly suggested Cruz was now wiser, said Cruz has “crashed and burned,” and even demanded that Cruz apologize not only to Republicans but to the constituents for whom Cruz was fighting and to whom he was listening.”
“Language like Mr. Ellis’ is so out of line. It’s an unfortunate outlier in the debate in my view,” Tom Fitton, the president of Judicial Watch, told the Daily Beast. “Obamacare’s strongest critics would not have predicted the almost immediate collapse of the healthcare insurance market as a result of Obamacare… it would counsel for a defund effort or another major repeal effort now.”