Disrupt   |  September 28, 2013

Finney: Cruz makes Paul ‘sound rational’

The National Review’s Robert Costa and Democratic strategist Doug Thornell join MSNBC’s Karen Finney to compare the Republican “filibusters” and explore whether Sen. Ted Cruz has become even more radical than Sen. Rand Paul.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> it is unfortunate that there has been republican division on this issue. and when it comes back to the senate after the house stands their ground yet again, we will have an opportunity for republicans to come home. for republicans to stand together, and i very much hope the next time this issue is before this body in a few days, that all 46 republicans are united against obama care.

>> that's senator ted cruz telling his party to come on home. but exactly where does he live? because if it's in the country, obama care is the law of the land and no matter what he says, it's not going anywhere. but forget the real world . cruz lives in a world where he can give a fake filibuster as the clock ticks down to a government shutdown . something even rand paul doesn't think is worth doing over defunding obama care. so we've come to this. joining me now is the national reviews washington editor robert costa and democratic strategist doug parnell. hello, gentlemen. we are potentially on the verge of a vote that we know will lead to a shutdown. we said, let's take a step back here on how we got here, the cruz filibuster. if you compare the two filibusters, senate cruz 's faux buster, the purpose was to delay a vote on a continuing resolution. the result, nothing happened. versus at least rand paul he was trying to block the nomination of john brennan for cia director . he did delay the vote and some people ended up agreeing with rand paul on some of the points that he made.

>> well, and also, senate cruz negotiated that whole performance with senator reed before happened. then he turned around after 20-plus hours and voted with everyone else to begin debate. he was filibustering the house bill, which is what he wanted. a full repeal of obama care. it was totally ridiculous. i think this really begins over the summer where jim dement began a tour around the country to amp up the republican base, to push senators to begin this negotiation, or the debt crisis. and ted cruz is kind of senator jim demint 's altar boy. he's carrying that water, the water of heritage and a lot of other special interests .

>> and we saw there was a story yesterday suggesting that the speaker of the house , that's not so good for boehner . it strikes me that when you look at what senator cruz is doing here, he's really created a lot of dissension within his own party. i think that's part of his intention. i think that he believes that the more tax he gets from what's seen as sort of the traditional washington insiders if you will, i ppithink he thinks it's better because he's trying to bring in that sarah palin wing of the party to create his own base of support.

>> i think you're bringing up up a really interesting point. usually senator paul and senator cruz are cast as tea party favorites, but rand paul has handled this shutdown debate in a very different way. senator paul has found a way to elevate himself beyond a process player, he's known as someone with fresh ideas, with you throwing a lot of cold water on top of senator cruz 's effort at the same time.

>> i think as part of that, it's intentional. i think with cruz , this is part of a strategy to actually improve his fund raising on the outside, his base on the outside --

>> i think you're right. i think that's very true.

>> absolutely. i was just going to say, i think 2016 is around the corner. he's looking at trying to fill that void of the true conservative candidate in that race. he's trying to raise his profile. let's not forget, ted cruz is a freshman in the senate . he seems to be running all the decisions for both republicans both nationally and in the house , that's really unprecedented that a senate freshman would have this much power.

>> yeah, even with house members. and gq did a profile on cruz and i want to read an excerpt of that for you. he said this certainly feels like a wacko-bird moment in washington and maybe in america too. so far cruz has proposed no major legislation and has shown little interest in changing that. he seems content accomplishing nothing because in his crew of the federal government , nothing is the accomplishment. that does not bode well for the republican party .

>> i think senator cruz has entered into a perilous situation. long-term he's burned bridges in congress. people are irritated with how he's handled this fight. he's not making many friends and that could cost him later, especially if he runs for president.

>> to that point, robert wrote a good article yesterday, i think, about how house republicans came to call senator cruz to get his advice and counsel on what to do with the debt limit measure that house speaker boehner put forward and he counselled them to whip against it.

>> right.

>> that is, as i said before, unprecedented.

>> highly unusual.

>> okay, guys, we're going to look into our magic ball and both of you guys know the hill well. doug i'm going to start with you. so essentially, we're at the point where they're going to take a vote on something, the cr, looks like it's going to be a version that we know the senate won't accept. then it will go from the senate back to the house . so what do you see unfolding in the next 24 hours ? do we see ted cruz still working the phones, telling his republicans to come on home and stay firm?

>> i don't think it's a matter of republicans anymore. i think like they've made it clear, they are intent on shutting down the government unless they defund obama care. that's not going to happen under this president. i just don't see how there's not at least a short government shutdown here. i don't know if there's time to do anything else, to fix what house republicans have broken here.

>> robert from what you're seeing there on the hill, is there any way to avoid a shutdown at this point that you see?

>> i think it's a very slim chance to avoid a shutdown. the house republicans are set on going to the 11th hour with this final offer about a one-year delay of obama care. some of the veterans say, let the shutdown happen, let the republicans feel the pain. understand in this divided climate, they can't win it all and maybe they'll come to the bargaining table.

>> the one thing, for some of these tea party republicans and the house , i'm not sure they would learn a lesson, a negative lesson from shutting the government down, because they believe their job is to just blow the whole thing up anyway.

>> that's very true. there's a group on the right within the house that won't vote for anything, a debt limit extension, funding for the government, they're opposed to it on principle. but there's a silent majority that does want to fund the government and wants to get beyond this. can boehner and that silent majority fight that other flank?

>> if you get a bunch of house republicans that are vulnerable this cycle going back to john boehner saying, we need to end this, that's one of the quickest ways it will end.

>> john boehner , that message is for you, we need to end this. thank you, guys.