Tea party favorite Sen. Ted Cruz tells The Washington Post
he'll urge his fellow Republicans to join him in taking on President Barack Obama if they take control of the Senate as expected in Tuesday's midterms. But he wouldn't promise to support the leadership of current Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Cruz told the Post he would first push for hearings on Obama's leadership, "looking at the abuse of power, the executive abuse, the regulatory abuse, the lawlessness that sadly has pervaded this administration."
He also wants the Senate to try to vote to repeal Obamacare, as the House has done more than 50 times. Should that effort fail, Cruz said he would like to take on aspects of the law piece by piece.
The Post said Cruz, a first-term senator, would not pledge to back McConnell as majority leader. Cruz has seen McConnell as part of the GOP establishment, and McConnell and his more moderate supporters don't like some of Cruz's actions, including leading the partial government shutdown in October 2013 that took attention away from the failed Obamacare website.
Cruz prefers direct pressure on Obama rather than the indirect method of adding amendments to bill, the Post said. That way, Cruz said, "you have clear accountability. It becomes transparent to everyone that it is the Democrats blocking meaningful progress."
Rep. Pete King of New York has long been a critic of the tea party in general and Cruz in particular.
"He is the last one we should listen to," King told the Post. "Don’t forget — a year ago he brought Republicans over the cliff."
But Cruz, who has not answered whether he'll run for president, said that it is time to stop nominating moderates.
"At some point, after Gerald Ford and Bob Dole and John McCain and Mitt Romney . . . we shouldn’t keep making the same mistakes over and over again," he said.
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