Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), who has been highly critical of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and the Tea Party in recent days, said he doesn’t want the movement to splinter the GOP lest the U.S. start looking like France.
King admitted on CNN that he’s “been very critical of the Republicans.”
“However, I’ve also — very critical of President Obama for waiting so long to get involved. Now that they are in the room, I would try to see if they put together a comprehensive agreement, both on the continuing resolution and on the debt ceiling so our country doesn’t go through this,” he said.
King was asked if the Tea Party should just break off from the GOP.
“No, I do believe in the two-party system, but I do feel that the Ted Cruz wing of the Republicans are very damaging to our party right now. That’s up to us to resolve internally. I don’t want fragmentations forming; otherwise, we’ll end up like one of those French republics where they have 40-50 parties or — no. To me it’s important that we keep the two-party system if at all possible,” he said. “But we should not be allowing the Tea Party to control what we do.”
He clarified his comments over the past couple of weeks about Cruz.
“I said he was a fraud because he started this whole process, he was the one who was bringing pressure on Republicans, he’s the one who’s behind this whole effort to defund ObamaCare and threatening to shut down the government. And basically saying if the House did that, sent it over to him, it would work,” said King.
“He knew this could never work, he knew that from the start. That was why this was a fraudulent advertising on his part. And he’s basically just being a con man. And how the House Republicans allowed themselves to be suckered by this guy in is beyond me.”
King estimated there are “about 100” Republicans in the House who want the government to reopen.
“But right now people just don’t want to move,” he continued. “And let me say this. I’ve been very critical of the Ted Cruz Republicans. I give them credit for one thing: when they want to do something, they get it done. They don’t worry about how — about hurting anyone’s feelings, how — what people are going to say about them. And that’s why they’re taken very seriously. So I give them credit for that. I wish people on my side had that same type resolve.”