A leading tea party intellectual has turned against the tea party movement’s favorite senator.
Economist Thomas Sowell, who has long been revered among conservatives, has slammed Sen. Ted Cruz in his last two columns, accusing the Texas Republican of being self-serving and comparing him to President Obama.
“Freshman Senator Ted Cruz says many things that need to be said and says them well,” Sowell wrote in his syndicated column Tuesday, before going on to compare Cruz to President Obama. “Moreover, some of these things are what many, if not most, Americans believe wholeheartedly. Yet we need to remember that the same was true of another freshman Senator, just a relatively few years ago, who parlayed his ability to say things that resonated with the voters into two terms in the White House.”
Sowell continued, suggesting Cruz is only looking out for himself.
“Senator Ted Cruz has not yet reached the point where he can make policy, rather than just make political trouble,” Sowell wrote. “But there are already disquieting signs that he is looking out for Ted Cruz — even if that sets back the causes he claims to be serving.”
Sowell seems to have been most recently irked by Cruz’s actions surrounding the Senate vote to increase the debt ceiling. Cruz threatened to filibuster, forcing several Republicans to either vote for cloture or force a fight over the debt ceiling increase. Republican leaders were seeking to avoid such a politically-risky fight and another possible government shutdown in order to focus on the failures of Obamacare heading in to the 2014 midterm elections.
“Senator Cruz’s filibuster last year got the Republicans blamed for shutting down the government — and his threatened filibuster this year forced several Republican Senators to jeopardize their own reelection prospects by voting to impose cloture, to prevent Cruz from repeating his self-serving grandstand play of last year,” Sowell wrote in his Wednesday column. “The Republicans need every vote they can get in the Senate — plus additional votes by defeating some Democrats who are running for the Senate this fall. It can be a very close call. Jeopardizing the reelection of current Republican Senators is an act of utter irresponsibility, a high risk with zero benefits to anyone except Ted Cruz — and the Democrats.”
In his Wednesday column, Sowell also lashed out against the so-called Republican establishment.
“However unjustified Senator Cruz’s actions, the very fact that a freshman Senator can so quickly gain so many supporters, with so much enthusiasm, ought to be a loud warning to the Republican establishment that they have long been a huge disappointment to a wide range of Republican voters and supporters,” he wrote.