Following the surprise Friday resignation of Republican House Speaker John Boehner, Texas GOP Senator Ted Cruz, who is also running for president, proposed an interesting, if highly unlikely, theory as to why Boehner suddenly stepped down.
According to the 44-year-old, Canadian-born Cruz, Boehner — the most conservative House speaker, judged by his voting record, of at at least the past 30 years — plans to join the Democratic Party and become a lobbyist in support of President Barack Obama’s agenda.
Cruz outlined his bizarre beliefs while speaking to the ultra-conservative Values Voters Summit in Washington on Friday. The Values Voter Summit attracts an all-star lineup of conservative speakers, but Cruz was the hit of the weekend, winning the group’s presidential straw poll for a third straight year.
“I will say, the early reports are discouraging… If it is correct that the speaker, before he resigns, has cut a deal with Nancy Pelosi to fund the Obama administration for the rest of its tenure, to fund Obamacare, to fund executive amnesty, to fund Planned Parenthood, to fund implementation of this Iran deal — and then, presumably, to land in a cushy K Street job after joining with the Democrats to implement all of President Obama’s priorities, that is not the behavior one would expect of a Republican speaker of the House.”
Where would Cruz get such a through-the-looking-glass conspiracy theory?
The “early reports” cited by Cruz would seem to have originated with the right-wing political site, Breitbart, which on Friday published a report of “rumors” that Boehner and Pelosi had struck some sort of a secret deal to head off a government shutdown — a shutdown that Cruz supports.
The “rumor” also appeared on the far-right Newsmax site, as well. But when another conservative site, the Glenn Beck-operated site the Blaze, attempted to check the rumor with Boehner’s office, the site received no response.
Also during his speech to the Values Voters Summit gathering, Cruz referred to Obama as “the world’s most powerful communist,” as part of a joke about Obama’s meeting with China President Xi Jingping, taking place at the same time.
While Cruz’s opposition to Obama is the basis of his presidential campaign, the Texas Senator has also made no secret of his loathing for John Boehner, as well, once publicly referring to the House speaker as a “jacka*s” and reportedly holding meetings with his fellow members of the Republican congressional delegation’s extreme right wing, plotting ways to undermine and ultimately unseat Boehner.
Attempting to explain his unashamed gloating over Boehner’s abdication of the Speaker’s chair, Cruz told reporters Saturday that “people are frustrated out of their minds” at elected Republicans’ failure to enact the conservative policies that they promised voters in their election campaigns.
The deadline for passing a new bill to find the government will be Wednesday, September 30. If the funding is not authorized by congress, the federal government will shut down for the second time in two years.
Cruz and other conservatives plan to demand that congress strip the women’s health organization Planned Parenthood of $500 million in funding in exchange for avoiding a shutdown.
While Cruz, as the Values Voters straw poll demonstrates, remains beloved by hard-line right-wing voters, he is far less popular nationwide, or even among other Republicans.
In recent polls, Ted Cruz rates only eight percent support from likely Republican primary voters. But perhaps even more deadly to his presidential ambitions, Cruz garnered a 40 percent “unfavorable” rating in September polling, against just a 27 percent “favorable” rating.
[Images: Scott Olson / Mark Wilson / White House Pool / Getty Images]