On Thursday, conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh fiercely defended Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT) from criticism against those in the Republican commentariat–like Grover Norquist and Charles Krauthammer–that have assailed Lee and Cruz recently for what they have said was the “delusional” defunding Obamacare strategy.
Limbaugh said those in the Republican establishment do not want to give Tea Party conservatives any credit for weakening President Barack Obama, whose approval rating is at a new low of 37%, according to the most recent Associated Press poll. Instead, Limbaugh said the Washington establishment Republicans “continue to portray these people as reckless amateurs who almost brought down the government” while portraying the “mature establishment types” as ones “who know what they are doing.”
Krauthammer mocked Cruz on Thursday on Laura Ingraham’s radio show, asking, “Where is he now?” Norquist has blistered Cruz on a variety of outlets, saying he pushed Republicans into traffic and wandered away, even saying Cruz owed Republicans he misled an apology.
“I mean his sidekick, Sen. [Mike] Lee said, ‘Oh, we’re past Obamacare. We moved on.’ These are the generals who lead people into the Battle of [the] Little Bighorn and then go home and have lunch and leave the troops out there?” Krauthammer reportedly said on Thursday. “Where are they? Where are the generals? What’s their strategy to get abolition of Obamacare?” He then emphasized that Lee and Cruz were a part of the “kamikaze brigade” and the “suicide caucus.”
Limbaugh said he was so upset at those like Krauthammer and others in Republican establishment and commentariat that he had to be “careful in sounding too mad.” He then ripped the “conservative commentariat” for “now claiming that the Mike Lee and Ted Cruz defund strategy was delusional.”
Limbaugh pointed out that the Republican chattering class thinks the piecemeal strategy of passing bills to fund parts of the government that Obama and Democrats will not sign is “shrewd” and contributing to Obama’s decline in the polls. Limbaugh noted, though, that such a strategy would never have even happened had it not been for Cruz and Lee’s fierce push to defund Obamacare.
“None of this would be happening if it hadn’t been for the defund and delay strategy of Cruz and Lee and the people who joined them,” Limbaugh said. “So the point is that the establishment is still hell-bent on demolishing and discrediting the Tea Party and the Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and whoever else was involved coalition.”
Limbaugh is not the only conservative who has blasted those like Krauthammer. Conservative talk radio host Mark Levin recently pointed out that Cruz and Lee were building a movement, and Krauthammer was writing speeches for Walter Mondale against Ronald Reagan after Reagan led the greatest conservative movement to date. Reagan won the 1980 Republican presidential primary four years after challenging sitting President Gerald Ford for the party’s presidential nomination and narrowly losing in 1976.
“They missed the most important aspect of the conservative movement in modern history–it was right in front of them and they missed it, which is exactly why they are missing Ted Cruz,” Levin said. “They miss it.”
Limbaugh said if “Lee and Cruz had not done this, Obamacare would be fully funded, the debt limit would have been increased,” and “because Lee and Cruz insisted on this, the Democrats were exposed.”
“If it hadn’t been for Cruz and Lee, we wouldn’t be having this conversation about Obamacare or entitlement spending or the debt or the debt limit,” Limbaugh declared. “We wouldn’t see Obama’s approval ratings plunging. We wouldn’t be as focused on the failure of the Obamacare website as we are, I guarantee you. It’s all combined here.”
Limbaugh reiterated that the “ongoing effort to defund or to delay is what has exposed Obama,” and that is “what’s created this groundswell of public opinion opposed to Obama.”
“That’s why Obama’s at 37%. But the conservative commentariat, the establishment Republicans, say, ‘Oh, no, no! That was childish, that was immature, that was risky. That was just risky,'” Limbaugh said. “But, I tell you what: They come around and say, ‘This piecemeal business–fund this and fund that–that’s brilliant. That’s brilliant.”
Limbaugh then concluded by again noting that had it not been for Lee and Cruz, Republicans would not be fighting against Democrats like they are during the current government shutdown debate.
“If Ted Cruz and Mike Lee hadn’t done that, you know where we’d be right now?” Limbaugh asked. “The Republicans would have long ago caved. We would have Obama fully implemented. We’d have the debt limit raised. It would have been a grand-slam, slam-dunk win for Obama and the Democrats.”