Sen. Rand Paul on Tuesday said fellow Republican presidential candidate Ted. Cruz is "done for" in the Senate.
“Ted has chosen to make this really personal and chosen to call people dishonest in leadership and call them names, which really goes against the decorum and also against the rules of the Senate, and as a consequence, he can’t get anything done legislatively," Paul told Fox News Radio. "He is pretty much done for and stifled and it's really because of personal relationships, or lack of personal relationships, and it is a problem."
Paul has supported McConnell despite their differences. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Paul, a Kentucky Republican who has had the backing of his home-state senior senator, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, despite some tough policy differences, had been asked about Cruz's inability to even muster the support of 11 senators to secure a roll call vote on a procedural motion designed to amend the continuing resolution to keep the government running.
The Senate's set to vote on passage of that measure at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, the last day of the federal government's 2015 fiscal year.
"I approach things a little different, I am still just as hardcore in saying what we are doing, I just chose not to call people liars on the Senate floor and it's just a matter of different perspectives on how best to get to the end result," Paul said in the interview.
Paul backed McConnell's 2014 re-election bid. Cruz had accused McConnell of lying to him about the way forward for the revival of the Export-Import Bank in the Senate.
Like Cruz, Paul opposes the CR advanced by McConnell to avoid a shutdown later in the week. But Paul has focused his criticism on the use of the stopgap spending vehicles. Paul would have rather seen more pressure put on Democrats to advance the dozen individual appropriation bills.
"I would defund not only Planned Parenthood but hundreds and hundreds of regulations, hundreds and hundreds of wasteful programs. I would take them all out, put them on the table and say 'You know what Democrats, it doesn't take 60 votes to defund something, it's actually going to take 60 votes to fund any of these programs,' vote on them one at a time and we will see how many of these crazy programs get 60 votes. My guess would be very few, but that would take the courage to let the spending expire and start anew and let new programs all require 60 votes to pass," Paul said.
McConnell signaled Tuesday he intends to call additional votes on the regular fiscal 2016 spending bills, though there was no evidence Democrats accede to that proposal without a big budget agreement between the two parties.
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