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NY Times columnist Bret Stephens calls Ted Cruz ‘a serpent covered in Vaseline’

NY Times columnist Bret Stephens calls Ted Cruz ‘a serpent covered in Vaseline’
© Greg Nash

Conservative New York Times columnist Brett Stephens on Tuesday delivered a scathing review of Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCourt fines baker 0 for refusing to make gender transition cake Overnight Defense: Top admiral shoots back at criticism of 'woke' military | Military guns go missing | New White House strategy to battle domestic extremism Top admiral shoots back at criticism of 'woke' military: 'We are not weak' MORE (R-Texas), calling the former GOP presidential candidate "a serpent covered in Vaseline."

Stephens, who has long opposed President TrumpDonald TrumpNorth Carolina Senate passes trio of election measures 14 Republicans vote against making Juneteenth a federal holiday Border state governors rebel against Biden's immigration chaos MORE and his supporters, did not mince words in an interview with fellow Times opinion columnist Gail Collins, saying he "depise[s]" Cruz. 

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"He’s like a serpent covered in Vaseline," Stephens explained. "Because he treats the American people like two-bit suckers in 10-gallon hats." 

"Because he sucks up to the guy who insulted his wife — by retweet, no less," he continued, referring to Cruz's support of Trump following the president's tweet comparing Cruz's wife's appearance to Melania TrumpMelania TrumpJill Biden, Kate Middleton visit school together in first meeting Jill Biden wears 'LOVE' jacket 'to bring unity' to meeting with Boris Johnson White House gets back to pre-COVID-19 normality MORE's. 

"Because of his phony piety and even phonier principles," Stephens said. "Because his ethics are purely situational. Because he makes Donald Trump look like a human being by comparison."

"Because his fellow politicians detest him, and that’s just among Republicans," he said. "Because he never got over being the smartest kid in eighth grade."

"Because he’s the type of man who would sell his family into slavery if that’s what it took to get elected," Stephens, who has aligned himself with "never-Trump" conservatives since the beginning of Trump's presidential campaign, added. "And that he would use said slavery as a sob story to get himself reelected." 

Stephens earlier in the interview expressed support for Cruz's opponent, Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeO'Rourke considering Texas governor bid: report O'Rourke clarifies remarks, leaves door open to gubernatorial bid O'Rourke says he's not planning on run for Texas governor MORE (D-Texas), noting he likes "the idea that Texas can turn a bit purple if you have a candidate with energy, wit and a human touch." 

Recent polls have shown Cruz leading O'Rourke by a narrow margin, a surprising feat for a Democrat in deep-red Texas.

Cruz on Monday evening was chased out of a Washington, D.C., restaurant by protesters opposed to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.