Cruz: GOP rivals mimicking my outsider message

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzHillicon Valley: GOP lawmakers offer election security measure | FTC Dem worries government is 'captured' by Big Tech | Lawmakers condemn Apple over Hong Kong censorship Lawmakers condemn Apple, Activision Blizzard over censorship of Hong Kong protesters The Hill's Morning Report — Trump's impeachment jeopardy deepens MORE (R-Texas) on Friday mocked his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination for adopting his anti-establishment message. 

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“If you look at the debate stage, whether California or Cleveland, you see the candidates standing there, and suddenly, everyone is standing up to the Washington cartel,” Cruz said at the Heritage Action Presidential Forum in South Carolina. “I think that’s fabulous. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” 

“That’s great, you’re adopting rhetoric today against Washington,” Cruz continued. “If you want to be an outsider, fabulous. Show me where you stood and fought against career politicians in both parties.” 

Cruz has consistently bashed the other GOP contenders as “campaign conservatives.” 

On Friday, Cruz sought to frame himself as the most conservative Republican presidential nominee. He’s presently waiting out the rise of Donald Trump and other outsiders, who have so far attracted the bulk of support from conservatives seeking an anti-establishment candidate. 

His message resonated on Friday, as he earned two standing ovations in a fiery speech that focused heavily on his commitment to upending the status quo. 

“If you’re looking for someone to go along to get along, if you think Washington is doing great, we need to keep going in the same direction and just kind of fiddle around the edges, then I ain’t your guy,” Cruz said. “But I’ll suggest to you we’ve had way to many Republicans whose number one virtue is getting along with Democrats.” 

Cruz has made Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker John Boehner the focus of many of his attacks on the campaign trail, and continued to lambast the duo on Friday, claiming that “Republican leadership in Washington seems to be seeing who can surrender faster and more ostentatiously to Barack Obama. “ 

“Just once, Republicans should nominate a candidate as committed to conservative principles as Barack Obama is to liberal principles,” Cruz said, winning his second standing ovation of the day. 

Cruz continued his assault on Chief Justice John Roberts and other Supreme Court justices appointed by Republican presidents, who he said have abdicated their duties to uphold the law. 

He said that every Democratic Supreme Court justice “puts forward votes like a radical leftist nutcase.” Only about half of Republican nominees have been true conservatives, Cruz said, while the other half have been “screaming train wreck disasters.” 

Roberts, a nominee of former President George W. Bush, has been the focus of attacks from Republicans for upholding ObamaCare. 

Cruz did not list Robert among the justices he thought were H but said Bush picked him because he was afraid a more conservative nominee would provoke a fight from Democrats and attract criticism from the media.