Politics

‘Morning Joe’ bashes Ted Cruz: He is Anthony Weiner ‘once you edit out the erotica’

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Jeff Poor
Media Reporter

Is Sen. Ted Cruz no better than Anthony Weiner?

On Monday’s “Morning Joe” on MSNBC, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni promoted his latest column, which likens the Texas Republican to the disgraced New York City mayoral hopeful.

“It’s a short line from Weiner to Ted Cruz, once you edit out the erotica,” Bruni wrote. “Does Cruz throw so many bombs out of high-minded ideological purity, or because he’s learned that all the disruptive explosions turn heads (and headlines) his way? I’m going with the Pavlovian explanation, because he certainly doesn’t seem to be getting, or trying to get, much of anything done. His assertiveness, like Weiner’s, is an end in itself.”

Host Joe Scarborough tended to agree with Bruni’s assertion and said that conservative members in the House Republican caucus on Capitol Hill complain to him privately about Cruz’s grandstanding.

“What I’m finding is, it’s not just the headlines, but a lot of conservative members of Congress, in the House, in the House — people that, you know, 95, 97 percent ratings with [the American Conservative Union] — are saying, you know what, the guy is not only throwing these bombs to build his mailing list. He’s also making our life a living and breathing hell because the phones are ringing off the hook and they’re demanding we shut down the government now.”

Bruni added that Cruz tended to be a liability for his fellow Republicans because he conforms to stereotypes about the GOP.

“He’s great for the Democratic Party,” Bruni said. “He’s terrible for the Republican Party. I mean, he’s everything they’re supposed to be moving from if they’re going to be more competitive in the future and he’s grabbing all the headlines, he’s getting all the TV time, which is I think the question to ask, is he doing it for that — as I said in the piece — or is it really ideological purity? And the reason I draw a connection between Weiner and Cruz is I think we have a lot of politicians today, and they’re both examples of it, who seem addicted to attention more than anything else.”

Scarborough compared Cruz to another high-profile conservative legislator, outgoing Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann.

“We’ve seen this happen in Washington with Michele Bachmann over the past several years. Republicans have figured out — you know, Michele Bachmann raised $12, 13, 14 million for a congressional race, which was absolutely unheard of, and it is throw the bomb, get the attention, build the mailing list, raise money.”

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