Tags: debt | cruz | hagel | nomination

Sen. Cruz Calls Obama 'Imperial President' Who Ignores Congress

Wednesday, 09 Jan 2013 08:19 AM

By Greg McDonald

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Sen. Ted Cruz says Barack Obama is acting like an "imperial president" and must think he can do "nothing wrong," given his adversarial push to have Congress accept Chuck Hagel as his new defense secretary and extend the nation's debt limit without a fight.
 
"There's a pattern here . . . which is I think the president has drunk the Kool-Aid," the Texas Republican said Tuesday evening on Fox News' Sean Hannity show. "He was re-elected and at this point he thinks he can do nothing wrong. He went through the fiscal cliff; he got exactly what he wanted in the fiscal cliff.
 
"And you take the Hagel nomination, for example," Cruz continued. "They floated this trial balloon for several weeks and you saw a number of Republicans come out against it. You saw crickets chirping among [Democratic]  senators.
 
Editor's Note: Should Kerry and Hagel Be Confirmed ?

"Typically one floats a trial balloon to get a sense of support. It was clear there was strong bipartisan opposition to Chuck Hagel, and President Obama decided he didn't care. He was going to force it through and pick this fight because I think, politically, he thinks he can pick any fight he wants."
 
But Cruz, who believes like a number of his GOP colleagues that former Senator Hagel is "on the outer fringe in terms of his views on national security," says he plans to fight hard to defeat Hagel's nomination.
 
"I respect him personally, but his views are not in the mainstream, and I don't think they'd serve this nation well leading the Department of Defense," said Cruz, acknowledging Hagel's service as a decorated soldier in the Vietnam War.
 
Cruz, however, indicated he was more concerned about Obama's determined effort to avoid a fight with Congress on the debt limit, which could mean a move to invoke the 14th Amendment's provision on the public debt and simply tell the Treasury to ignore the debt ceiling.
 
"You know, we saw in the first term the president repeatedly ignore the constraints of the Constitution, ignore the constraints of federal law to implement his agenda, and I think in the second term that's only going to get worse," Cruz told Hannity.
 
"I'll tell you what, liberals should be concerned about this. If you're on the left, you shouldn't like an imperial president, a Nixonian president that disregards Congress," he continued. "Congress is a democratic check on the president and yet, it seems the left is absolutely silent."
 
Republicans have all but threatened to shut down the government over the debt limit crisis, which hasn't happened since former House Speaker Newt Gingrich did it three times in 1995 during budget negotiations with former President Bill Clinton.
 
Cruz said it worked then to force Clinton into a deal with Republicans, despite a public backlash against the GOP because of it. He believes it can work again to force Obama into accepting deeper spending cuts in debt limit negotiations.
 
Editor's Note: Should Kerry and Hagel Be Confirmed ?

"I hope we stand strong," Cruz said, adding: "If fiscal conservatives can stand together, we can force some substantive reforms, some pro-growth reforms. . .
 
"We saw it in 1995 with Republicans in Congress."

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