Representative Peter King of New York was one of the many, many Republicans who came out after Cruz announced his bid for the Republican presidential nomination and hammered Cruz. King’s remarks were especially brutal; he referred to Cruz as a “carnival barker,” irresponsible, and told CNN that Cruz was “just a guy with a big mouth and no results.”
King is absolutely right, but he clearly underestimated who he crossed and the religious fervency behind Cruz; the New York Republican told the Washington Post today that, since his remarks, Cruz’s followers have been sending him “vulgar” and “adolescent” messages.
According to King, the messages were left at his congressional office. He told The Post that under normal circumstances, he wouldn’t complain, but he owned it to his “staff — particularly the female members and young interns — to make this statement.”
He said that:
What I do find revealing is the number of vulgar, rabid and adolescent-type — phone calls my office has received from Cruz supporters. The puerile language used is what most kids outgrow and move beyond when they reach sophomore year in high school.
The fact that women and young interns in my office have to listen to these perverse rantings is particularly shameful.
While King said Cruz couldn’t personally be held responsible, he still noted, “[Cruz] has such an unusual appeal to this low denominator in American politics.”
King told The Post that the only other time he’d received similar feedback was after he attack Michael Jackson in 2009.
Really, King should pay attention: Cruz isn’t unique in his appeal to the lowest common denominator of American politics — that’s a Republican schtick in general.