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 Cruz Hickenlooper, Bennet bring deep ties to 2020 debate stage 2020 Democrat Bennet releases comprehensive government reform plan GOP frets about Trump's poll numbers MORE (R-Texas), calling the former GOP presidential candidate "a serpent covered in Vaseline."

Stephens, who has long opposed President TrumpDonald John TrumpConway defends herself against Hatch Act allegations amid threat of subpoena How to defuse Gulf tensions and avoid war with Iran Trump says 'stubborn child' Fed 'blew it' by not cutting rates 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 TrumpThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Trump calls off Iran strike at last minute The Hill's Morning Report — US strikes approved against Iran pulled back The Hill's Morning Report - Trump's reelection message: Promises kept 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'RourkeCastro pushes back on O'Rourke criticism of plan to decriminalize border crossings Overnight Health Care: Key Trump drug pricing proposal takes step forward | Missouri Planned Parenthood clinic loses bid for license | 2020 Democrats to take part in Saturday forum on abortion rights Warren pledges to ban private prisons 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.