Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) last night accused Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) of “using the floor of the United States senate that a lot of us really have such great pride in to propel himself into being the Rush Limbaugh candidate for president.”

Boxer told Al Sharpton on MSNBC that Cruz “is very controversial.”

“Because it seems to many of his colleagues and to, I would say most, that he is just grandstanding, and he is playing politics,” she said. “…And we have a lot of work to do. And the last time they played around with the debt ceiling and they played around with the government shut down, taxpayers lost a bundle, billions of dollars. People lost paychecks. Contractors were disrupted. Businesses, labor, Social Security recipients, veterans. It goes on and on. The pain that will be felt. And I think a lot of people believe that he doesn’t care a whit about any of that.”

“And, you know, the definition of insanity or one of the definitions of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome,” Boxer added. “Whether it comes to Obamacare, they have tried 42 times. We are going to stop them from defunding it. And when it comes to a government shutdown, that’s pain. We don`t want to do that again.”

The senator said his comparison of fighting Obamacare to fighting Nazism was “so offensive, and I’m so pleased that John McCain called him on it.”

“But, you know, Ted Cruz is loose. He is loose with his words. And he’s done this before. And I said once before he was using McCarthy tactics when he was trying to defeat Chuck Hagel who became our secretary of defense, and a Republican at that. And these are the same type of tactics, making these comparisons, throwing around these words of heinous people and comparing your colleagues to that. It’s shocking. And frankly, if this is what the Republican party, the future looks like, I’m very fearful for the Grand Old Party.”

Boxer said House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) now faces “a very important decision.”

“I know John very well,” she said. “Is he going to be the speaker of the House and go to all the members of the House and resolve this, or is he just going to go to his caucus, in which case the future just looks very, very bleak. And he’s got to make that decision.”

She put the odds of a government shutdown at 50/50.

“I hope not. And Ted Cruz is hurting the people,” added Boxer. “And everyone who supports him, hurting the people who need so much to have health insurance.”