Democratic strategist James Carville on Sunday praised tea party-backed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) as "the most talented and fearless Republican politician" in the last 30 years.

In a panel discussion on Sunday, ABC News host George Stephanopoulos noted that recent news reports indicated that Cruz had been examining a possible run for president in 2016.

"The people love Ted Cruz because he's taking on his own party, his own leadership, he's taking on the other party," former Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) opined. "He's trying to rock the boat to get us to stop moving towards this cliff that we're headed for as a country. So I've been in about 25 cities in the last few months, all you have to do is mention Ted Cruz and people get on their feet."

"I think he is the most talented and fearless Republican politician I've seen the last 30 years," Carville agreed. "I further think that he's going to run for president and he's going to create something. I'm not sitting here saying that he's going to win. And I think Sen. DeMint is right. I've listened to excerpts of his speech in South Carolina, he touches every button, and this guy has no fear. He just keeps ploughing ahead, and he is going to be something to watch."

"And a lot of Republicans feel this way," he continued. "You hear this a lot, 'If we only got someone who is articulate and was for what we were for, we would win elections. And we get these John McCains and these Mitt Romneys these squishy guys that can't do anything.' Well, there's one thing this guy is not: He ain't squishy, not in the least."

"We're anti-squishy men," Republican strategist Mary Matalin, who is married to Carville, volunteered. "We like really hard men."

Watch this video from ABC's This Week, broadcast May 5, 2013.

(h/t: Mediaite)