MSNBC host Chris Matthews tore into Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Wednesday, accusing him of appropriating the legacy of Matthews’ personal hero, former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
“Cruz is out to make a name [for himself] — not by uniting a country in danger, as Churchill did, not by building up a country’s defenses and morale, as Churchill did,” Matthews argued. “His calling card is just the opposite: He seeks to divide, he seeks to destroy, he seeks to demoralize until the country is so divided, its ability to govern so destroyed, its morale so depressed, that even someone like the freshman senator from Texas starts to look credible.”
Matthews also criticized Cruz, who completed a 21-hour speech on Wednesday railing against the Affordable Care Act (that included his recitation of a Dr. Seuss story) for then turning around and voting alongside everyone else in the Senate to pass a spending plan that will be eventually include funding for the law, fending off the government shutdown Cruz had called for before passing the buck to House Republicans on the issue.
“Ted Cruz, whatever else we decide he is or he decides he wants to be, is no Winston Churchill battling Hitler, any more than Snoopy was battling the Red Baron,” Matthews said dismissively.
Later in the opening segment, Matthews likened Cruz and other Tea Party Republicans to another Texas Republican, Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX), who would not tell Matthews in a Sept. 20 interview that he considered President Barack Obama to be legitimately elected.
“I’ll bet there’s 30 or 40 of them in the House right now, who couldn’t get that out of their mouth,” Matthews told guests David Corn and Howard Fineman.
Watch Matthews’ rebuke of Cruz’s portrayal of himself, aired Wednesday on MSNBC, below.