Rep. Pete King (R-NY) has warned fellow Republicans and others that Sen. Ted Cruz is not done interfering with the business of governance — and that as soon as he has a chance, he will rally the small Tea Party caucus to engage in the same sort of expensive, dangerous shenanigans seen all October in Washington.
Among Republicans, Rep. Pete King is an outlier in speaking so freely about the deleterious effects of Cruz’s ill-fated and doomed to fail crusade.
Speaking to Capital New York, Pete King believes that Cruz and his small band of havoc-wreaking adherents ceded significant conservative ground, preventing House Republicans from actually affecting change in coming months.
Of the shutdown, King laments:
“Instead we look like the crazies… Shutting down the government, throwing barricades against the White House, and having Ted Cruz reading Dr. Seuss, this is like the theater of the absurd.”
King admits that of the House members in the GOP, he is alone in decrying such behavior — he explains that there is good reason others will not, and adds:
“I don’t mean this in an egotistical way, I’m the only one who’s been going after Cruz by name… And there’s a purpose for that, because this is going to come back again in two or three months, whether it’s January 15 or February 7 or whatever, there’s going to be a threat of another shutdown.
King says that fundraising and re-election threats have buttoned up Republican lips on the subject, continuing:
“And he’s going to be coming back, rewriting history, saying, ‘We were on the verge of victory back in October, and we could have won if we’d just stayed in there another week.’ And he’s going to have phone calls being made, and he’s going to have town hall meetings. And he’s going to have all those support groups out there, threatening to downgrade people on their scorecards and all that stuff.”
But the New Yorker has hope other reasonable Republicans will wade in and argue for smart conservative governance — he concludes:
“It was one person who was able to steamroll Congress and unless we target him for what he is, he’s going to do it again. So I’m hoping other Republicans will join me and start going after this guy, and say we’re not going to let it happen again.”
Pete King is not alone in his criticism, and Cruz’s hometown paper this week published an op-ed regretting their earlier endorsement.