It’s no secret old guard senators like John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) have had their feathers ruffled by the newer, younger “wacko birds” like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), but Cruz has especially earned the ire of the 2008 Republican Presidential nominee, who, according to an adviser, “f**king hates” him.
According to a profile of the Tea Party darling in GQ, Cruz is the king of the wacko birds, known for his staunch defense of the Constitution and as a crusader of conservatism. But he has lost a fan in McCain, as the magazine learned from one of the senator’s advisers.
“He f**king hates Cruz,” a McCain adviser told GQ’s Jason Zengerle. “He’s just offended by his style.”
But McCain’s contention for the 2016 presidential hopeful hasn’t stopped Cruz from maintaining his ardent pro-liberty ways. According to GQ, the Texas conservative sees his “wacko bird” mentality — the term given to him and his fellow outspoken conservatives — as hardly an insult.
“Or as Cruz put it on the Senate floor a few weeks before [the magazine’s] visit, in the midst of yet another fight with McCain, this time over the rules for negotiating a budget: ‘It has been suggested that those of us who are fighting to defend liberty — fighting to turn around the out-of-control spending and out-of-control debt in this country, fighting to defend the Constitution, it has been suggested that we are wacko birds. Well, if that is the case, I will suggest to my friend from Arizona, there may be more wacko birds in the Senate than is suspected,'” GQ reports.
McCain has long been a critic of Cruz. He rolled out the “wacko bird” moniker after Cruz joined his fellow Tea Partier Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) in a 13-hour filibuster of President Obama’s policy on drones and called Cruz’s attempts to defund the Affordable Care Act “not rational.”
“I can tell you that in the U.S. Senate, will not repeal or defund Obamacare,” McCain told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “We will not. And to think we can is not rational.”
That hasn’t stopped Cruz from firing back.
“I don’t know a conservative who didn’t feel embarrassed voting in 2006 or 2008,” he told GQ. “I think the Republican Party lost its way. We didn’t stand for the principles we’re supposed to believe in.”