Rep. Peter King (R-NY) attacked Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) as a “sideshow entertainer” Monday, hours after the Texas Republican announced his candidacy to be president of the United States.
“The Republican Party and the American people have to be able to find a more qualified candidate for president than Ted Cruz,” King said in a statement. “Shutting down the federal government and reading Dr. Seuss on the Senate floor are the marks of a sideshow entertainer, not the leader of the free world.”
King, a moderate Republican, has made no secret about the fact that he is not a fan of the conservative Cruz, at varying times calling him a “fraud,” a “RINO,” and accusing him of “hurting the country”
The New Yorker has himself floated the possibility of a presidential run this cycle, specifically to prevent candidates such as Cruz and Sen. Rand Paul from winning the nomination.
“I’m looking at this because I see people like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz and, to me, I don’t want the Republican Party going in that direction,” King said in response to a question about his possible presidential run last spring. “Whether it’s me or someone else, I want to do all that I can to make sure that what I call the realistic foreign policy wing and national security wing of the Republican Party does not give into the isolationists.”
Cruz, for his part, when asked about King’s repeat attacks brushed them off last year on CNN, saying that he had not known who King was until the New Yorker began attacking him.
“I don’t know Mr. King,” Cruz said. “I’ve never met him. To be honest, I don’t think I had ever heard of him until he started getting on television attacking me.”