Bennet: Washington politics have been 'tyrannized' by Freedom Caucus, Cruz

Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetOvernight Energy: Democrats ask if EPA chief misled on vehicle emissions | Dem senators want NBC debate focused on climate change | 2020 hopeful John Delaney unveils T climate plan 2020 hopeful John Delaney unveils T climate plan Trump Jr. slams Republican committee chairman: 'Too weak to stand up to the Democrats' MORE (D-Colo.) said Thursday that Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzThe Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Senate GOP votes to permanently ban earmarks Jim Carrey fires back at 'Joe McCarthy wanna-be' Cruz MORE (R-Tx.) and the House Freedom Caucus have wreaked havoc on Washington politics for years.

"The last ten years of our politics in Washington we have been tyrannized by these guys in the Freedom Caucus and Ted Cruz… who have imposed their very idiosyncratic view on America on America,” Bennet said on MSNBC's "Meet the Press."


Bennet was being interviewed after giving a fiery speech on the Senate floor earlier Thursday where he tore in Cruz.

Host Chuck Todd pressed the Colorado senator about why he decided to give the speech, despite usually being known as a subdued lawmaker.

“I remember sitting in that chamber when Ted Cruz shut the government down to read Green Eggs and Ham while Colorado was being flooded and people were literally dying in my state, when the federal government was shutdown over stupid petty politics,” Bennet said.

Cruz, who was a freshman senator at the time, led the charge to shut down the government in an attempt to defund for the Affordable Care Act in 2013.

He also stressed that while the government shutdown itself is bad, it is symptomatic or larger issues.

“It’s time for us to get out of this mess that we’re in. But it’s not just about the shutdown, Bennet said.

"It’s our failure to invest in our infrastructure, it’s our failure to educate our children, it’s our failure to take care of alliances around the world. All of this stuff, at a time when China is rising and Russia is pushing out, matters a lot.”

Bennet has been speculated to be considering a 2020 presidential run, as several Senate colleagues have either announced or are expected to announce their own campaigns. 

Bennet was noncommittal when Todd pressed him on it.

“I’m thinking about it, Chuck, like every single other person in this building is thinking about it," he said.

The government has been shutdown since Dec. 22 over a stalemate between the White House and congressional Democrats over President TrumpDonald John TrumpNASA exec leading moon mission quits weeks after appointment The Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Frustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' MORE’s demand that $5.7 billion for a border wall be included in any spending bill to reopen the government.