Politics

Peter King Unloads on Ted Cruz and his 'Lizard Smirk'

Pair clashed over Cruz's debate line about 'New York values'

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., sits with New York delegates on the floor of the Quicken Loans Arena. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

New York Republican Rep. Peter King has never been a fan of Sen. Ted Cruz. But in an interview with Roll Call in the hours after Cruz refused to endorse fellow New Yorker, Donald Trump, at the Republican National Convention, King unloaded on the Texas senator as a "liar and a self-centered fraud" who should never be considered again for president of the United States.  

"I was sitting in the front row, dead center, with the New York delegates and they're all shouting at him and yelling at him, "Endorse! Endorse!"" King said, recounting the moment Cruz spoke to the Republican National Convention. "And the guys are shaking their fists. And he has that lizard smirk on his face."  

King and Cruz famously clashed after Cruz derided Donald Trump's "New York values" in an early presidential debate. King stepped in at the time to defend his state and its values, and warned Wednesday night that Cruz's convention performance, just like his debate performance, was all about Ted Cruz.  

"He probably thinks he's on top of the world, like he's the messiah," King said. "He's terrible. He's going to do all he can to undercut Trump and then emerge as a savior. But Trump's going to win."  

No matter the outcome of the November elections, King predicted doom for Cruz's future presidential ambitions, especially after his performance in Cleveland.  

"He's hurting himself. He's going to be yesterday's mail," he said. "I can't see any real Republican even considering Cruz again." As for Trump's best response to the snub? King said the less reaction the better.  

"Leave him out where he is. Leave him out in the wilderness. Leave him in the desert without water."