GOP Turns on McConnell as Cruz Blasts Him from Senate Floor

cruz_mcconnell APJ. Scott Applewhite)

Sen Ted Cruz blasted Majority Leader Mitch McConnell from the Senate floor last night and has been expressing his displeasure with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for some time. Now it appears as though the Republican base is joining Cruz in his displeasure with McConnell, who is often seen as a weak leader by Conservatives.

A new Gallup poll has Mitch underwater: Republicans’ Views of McConnell Now Tilt Negative.

Republicans are more likely to have an unfavorable opinion (35%) of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell than a favorable one (30%). Just 18 months ago, Republicans were twice as likely to view him positively (47%) as negatively (23%).

The more Republicans see of Mitch as a majority leader, the less it seems they like him. It’s quite likely they expected more fight from him given the rhetoric he used to gain the majority before using it to give Barack Obama just what he wanted time and time, again..

Republicans viewed McConnell favorably from 2010 — three years after he became the party’s Senate leader — through 2014. During his time as minority leader, his favorable ratings were generally near 50% and his unfavorable ratings near 20%.

As for Cruz’s latest official salvo at the beleaguered leader, the entire speech can be viewed here: The Budget Deal Is a Corrupt Betrayal of the American People.

His office also released the following written statement. Cruz is enjoying quite a bit of momentum coming off the last GOP debate, having raised over $1 million in the last 24 hours.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today delivered a speech on the Senate floor, denouncing the shockingly bad budget deal and outlining the Republican establishment’s multitude of broken promises.

Excerpts of Sen. Cruz’s speech can be read below. Watch the speech in its entirety here.

Mr. President, for many months, I’ve been speaking about what I call the Washington Cartel. The Washington Cartel consists of career politicians in both parties who get in bed with lobbyists and special interests here in Washington and grow and grow and grow government. The Washington Cartel is, I believe, the source of the volcanic frustration Americans face across this country. And it is difficult to find a better illustration of the Washington Cartel than the charade we are engaged in this evening. This deal that we are here to vote on is both shockingly bad on the merits, and it is also a manifestation of the bipartisan corruption that suffuses Washington, D.C.

What are the terms of this budget deal? Well, in short, what the House of Representatives has passed and what the senate is expected to pass shortly is a bill that adds $85 billion in spending increases…$85 billion in spending increases…$85 billion to our national debt…85 billion to your children and my children that they’re somehow expected to pay. I don’t know about your kids, but my girls don’t have $85 billion laying around in their rooms…”

…It’s worth thinking about just how much $85 billion is. It’s more than the Senate negotiated with the House when Harry Reid was majority leader. When Harry Reid was majority leader, the Ryan-Murray budget agreement, which was a flawed agreement, an agreement I voted against, increased spending by $63 billion over two years. Now, Mr. President, what does it say to you that a supposedly Republican majority of the United States Senate negotiates a bigger spending bill than Harry Reid and the Democrats?

…Republican majorities have just given President Obama is a diamond-encrusted, glow-in-the-dark AmEx card. And it has a special feature. The president gets to spend it now, and they don’t even send him the bill. They send the bill to your kids and my kids. It’s a pretty nifty card. You don’t have to pay for it. You get to spend it and it’s somebody else’s problem.”

…Let me point something out. You know, this bill that we’re voting on, this bill was not cooked up overnight. This wasn’t a slapdash on a post-it note last night. This represents days or weeks or months of negotiations. This represents the Cartel in all of its glory because this is the combined work product of John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid. The entire time Republican leaders have been promising, ‘We’re going to do something on the budget. We’re going to rein in the president,’ they have been in the back room negotiating to fund every single thing Obama did.

…Now, if someone is an effective Democratic leader, you would expect them to be able to pass legislation when a majority of Democrats supported it and a majority of Republicans opposed it — if you’re a partisan Democrat, that would be almost the definition of an effective Democratic leader. Nineteen times in the last ten months this so-called Republican majority has passed legislation, has had a vote succeed where a majority of Democrats supported it and a majority of Republicans opposed it…


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