News & Politics

Conservative Talk-Show Hosts Battle GOP Establishment Over Ted Cruz

(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

On his radio show yesterday, conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh praised Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s Tuesday debate performance. Limbaugh said that Cruz was “outstanding” and spoke like a “traditional powerful, well-versed proud — unabashedly proud — conservative.” He added that Cruz is “an articulate representative of conservatism and the conservative movement, and he is a happy warrior.”

And Limbaugh wasn’t quite done singing Cruz’s praises:

He loves doing what he’s doing. He loves mixing it up. He loves getting in there. And he is relishing this opportunity to put on display what he believes and what millions of the rest of us believe.

Limbaugh’s remarks came after the senator drew fire from the GOP’s establishment and some media outlets. Accordingly, Mark Levin came to the senator’s rescue yesterday evening, blasting the Washington Post‘s neoconservative columnist, Jennifer Rubin, and others, such as Stephen Hayes, Bill Kristol, and Florida Senator Marco Rubio, for what he considers to be their wrongheaded foreign policy views.

Levin gave a history lesson on what the difference between a Reaganesque foreign policy and the interventionist policies of the neo-cons. He showed how the neo-cons favorite philosopher, Edmund Burke, was against the very foreign policy they are espousing in his name. Levin reminded Kristol, Hayes, and Rubio that Burke was pro-American revolution but anti-French revolution.

Listen here to Levin taking on the establishment and its Bush-era policy of “spreading democracy around.”

With the primary season heating up, it’s clear that Reaganite conservatives are rallying around Cruz while conservative hawks and the GOP’s establishment are now going all in for Rubio, Jeb Bush having failed to gain any traction in the polls.

Considering the differences between the two, this race could well boil down to the question: do Republican voters want an aggressive foreign policy with military adventures in different parts of the world, or will they go for a Reaganite, “America first” (as Cruz puts it) policy that — while certainly strong — is more prudent and less adventurous?