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NYT's Stephens says Ted Cruz more 'unctuous' than Eddie Haskell

New York Times columnist Bret Stephens is throwing some barbs toward Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCheney drama exposes GOP's Trump rifts Pollster Frank Luntz: 'I would bet on' Trump being 2024 GOP nominee Tim Scott sparks buzz in crowded field of White House hopefuls MORE (R-Texas).

In a joint op-ed "conversation" with fellow columnist Gail Collins, the conservative writer described Cruz unfavorably against a number of fictional figures, including the two-faced friend of Wally Cleaver on the 1950s sitcom "Leave it to Beaver."

The topic came up as the two columnists discussed President BidenJoe BidenDefense lawyers for alleged Capitol rioters to get tours of U.S. Capitol Sasse to introduce legislation giving new hires signing bonuses after negative jobs report Three questions about Biden's conservation goals MORE's policies, and Collins brought up the possibility that Cruz or Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisACLU sues Florida over law targeting ballot initiatives Montana governor approves restrictions on transgender athletes in schools Advocates sound alarm as restrictive voting laws pile up MORE (R) might run against him as president in 2024.

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Stephens wasn’t buying the Cruz scenario.

“Gail, you know that whenever you mention the name of the junior senator from Texas, I think: Eddie Haskell wasn’t that unctuous. Veruca Salt wasn’t that obnoxious. Sherman McCoy wasn’t that full of himself," Stephens said.

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"Uriah Heep wasn’t that sycophantic. Heathcliff wasn’t that twisted. Dorian Gray wasn’t that self-absorbed,” he continued. “Elmer Gantry wasn’t that hypocritical. Willie Stark wasn’t that corrosively ambitious. Faust wasn’t that morally compromised. Lady Macbeth wasn’t that sinister. Iago wasn’t that conniving. Richard III wasn’t that malicious. Mr. Wickham wasn’t that dishonorable. Gollum wasn’t that oleaginous. Norman Bates wasn’t that disturbing. Inspector Clouseau wasn’t that ridiculous.” 

“Sorry, what were we talking about?” Stephens added. 

Stephens said that the person he would like to run in 2024 is Nebraska Sen. Ben SasseBen SasseSasse to introduce legislation giving new hires signing bonuses after negative jobs report Tim Scott sparks buzz in crowded field of White House hopefuls NYT's Stephens says Ted Cruz more 'unctuous' than Eddie Haskell MORE (R), stating that he’s the most potent challenger to Biden or whoever is on the Democratic ticket.

Sasse is one of seven Republicans in the Senate who voted to convict former President TrumpDonald TrumpThe Memo: The Obamas unbound, on race Iran says onus is on US to rejoin nuclear deal on third anniversary of withdrawal Assaults on Roe v Wade increasing MORE during his second impeachment trial.