Charles Krauthammer versus Mark Levin: Conservative commentators trade barbs over Ted Cruz
Conservatives commentators Charles Krauthammer and Mark Levin traded barbs over Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz’s defund Obamacare tactics after Cruz’s 21-hour speech on the Senate floor.
On Wednesday’s “Special Report” on the Fox News Channel, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer reacted to criticism from conservative radio host Mark Levin, who had taken to his radio show on Tuesday night to remind his listeners that Krauthammer once worked a speechwriter for the 1984 Democratic presidential nominee, former Vice President Walter Mondale.
Krauthammer author of “Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes, and Politics,” mocked the notion his position with Mondale was influencing his current views on policy and insisted he was adverse to Cruz’s tactics.
“I stand exposed as the longest secret mole of liberals and Democrats in the conservative movement in the history of the republic. Alger Hiss is a piker beside me. But I will remind you that the sainted Ronald Reagan started out as a very strong supporter of FDR. So I think it’s somewhat sacrilegious that I should invoke him but I will nonetheless. Look, that’s kind of amusing. I was young once. I’m sure Levin was as well. That’s my excuse. The objection I had to what Cruz was doing was that he took them down a cul-de-sac in terms of tactics and he implied very unfairly — he didn’t only imply, but he basically said that anybody who didn’t agree with his tactic, which is a cul-de-sac tactic it leads nowhere — is somebody who betrays the opposition to Obamacare.”
“John McCain and all the other people in the Republican Party in the House and in the Senate, fought tooth and nail in 2009,” Krauthammer continued. “I don’t know where Ted Cruz was or what he was doing. But he arrived at the party late. So if you are going to cast aspersions on the people who fought every stretch the way. Who opposed every twist and turn of this Obamacare along the way, you ought to be a little bit humble about it and at least recognize their honesty and sincerity in a way that he did not.”
Shortly thereafter on his Wednesday radio show, Levin, author of “The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic,” responded. First Levin reminded his listeners that Krauthammer had been on the wrong side of former President Ronald Reagan.
“That’s all very funny, but folks my point is this — Ronald Reagan ran for president of the United States three times and Krauthammer didn’t support him once. Excuse me ran for president twice, but ran in the Republican primary three times,” Levin said. “Ran in the Republican primary three times — I guess technically the last time is four times, but competitively three times. [He] was elected twice. He was a great conservative, a statesman. And somehow Krauthammer, who wasn’t a child, was writing speeches or something for Walter Mondale.”
“Again, I don’t have a problem with the fact that people change,” Levin said. “That isn’t even my point, but to take a shot at Cruz — ‘Oh, the Canadian Ted Cruz’ as they were giggling the other day. And not only that, they’re not the font of all wisdom about the conservative movement. 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’re missing Ted Cruz. They miss it. Nothing personal, although they made it personal with Cruz. It’s nothing personal with me. I’m not attacking them. I’m not attacking him.”
Levin said that while Krauthammer had been working for Mondale, he missed witnessing the attacks on Reagan firsthand and thus is unable to make the connection of Reagan in his early efforts to lead the conservative and what is currently underway with Cruz.
“While he started as an admirer of FDR and he changed, you were supporting Mondale all through the entire Reagan experience,” Levin added. “That’s kind of odd, quite frankly. Again, I’m not attacking. I’m glad he’s out there and so forth. But he missed Reagan and he’s missing Cruz among others. Not that they’re identical. They don’t have to be identical. But I heard the same kind of attacks I’ve heard from him and some of the others on Cruz when Reagan was running. And so Krauthammer doesn’t have that perspective. His perspective during the Reagan years was as a speechwriter for Walter Mondale. That’s my point. That’s all.”