Rep. Pete King isn't impressed with Sen. Ted Cruz
, the first Republican to announce a 2016 presidential bid.
In a Facebook post on Monday, King said Cruz would make a better carnival barker than president.
"The Republican party and the American people have to be able to find a more qualified candidate for president than Ted Cruz. Shutting down the federal government and reading Dr. Seuss on the Senate floor are the marks of a carnival barker not the leader of the free world," King said in his post.
He elaborated on that thought on CNN's
"The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer" on Monday, saying Cruz is "a guy with a big mouth and no results."
King, a New York Republican, has not had positive things to say about Cruz ever since the freshman senator led a filibuster in September 2013 and was blamed for a short-lived partial government shutdown that many in his own party said distracted from the Obamcare website's disastrous opening.
"We have very, very complex issues facing the country today, and he goes out of his way to oversimplify," King said. "Ted Cruz may be an intelligent person, but he doesn't carry out an intelligent debate. He oversimplifies, he exaggerates ... he doesn't provide leadership and he has no real experience."
When Blitzer asked whether King would support Cruz if he won the GOP nomination, he didn't sound too supportive.
"I hope that day never comes," King said. "I will jump off that bridge when we come to it."
King said that perhaps Cruz could have a road-to-Damascus moment and suddenly have a complete conversion, but the way things currently stand, "it would be difficult to support Ted Cruz."
King has announced his own intentions to run for president, but acknowledged he would have a hard fight. He indicated to Blitzer that his goal was to appeal to "real conservatives" to prevent a "counterfeit" such as Cruz or Sen. Rand Paul from winning.
Paul, he said, is "a very nice guy," from what he hears, but added that "his views are isolationist, and the world we face today, it would take us back to the 1930s."
"His views would basically remove the U.S. from having a real role to play in the world, and his mindset — when you look at things he's said over the years, in effect blaming the United States for problems around the world, somehow that it's our fault," King said. "To me, that's a bad mindset for the commander-in-chief of the United States to be going into office with."
King said he could support such potential GOP hopefuls as Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker or Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
"We have a lot of talent out there," King said. "I just don't see Ted Cruz and Rand Paul being part of that talent pool."
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