Former John McCain strategist Steve Schmidt criticized former running mate Sarah Palin for throwing her hat into the "defund Obamacare" campaign.
Schmidt, McCain’s 2008 campaign strategist, told “Hardball” host Chris Matthews that Republicans need to rid themselves of the "asininity" of both Sarah Palin and Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texas Tea Partier carrying the banner for defunding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Sarah Palin wrote an op-ed for Breitbart in which she claimed that if Cruz is unsuccessful in his fight against Obamacare it will be failure on the part of the GOP “because there weren’t enough principled leaders to stand with him.”
“It’s time for the Senate to put itself on Cruz Control,” she wrote.
“For the last couple of years we’ve had this wing of the party running roughshod over the rest of the party” and promising to “purge the moderates” from the GOP, Schmidt said.
“We’ve lost five U.S. Senate seats over the last two election cycles,” he continued. “We need Republicans, whether they’re running for president, whether they’re the leadership of the Congress, to stand up against a lot of this asininity.”
He said Cruz might have finally gone “a bridge too far.”
“Wise people understand the political consequences for the Republican party,” he said of the impending government shut-down and default.
“Maybe we’ll start seeing our elected leaders to stop being intimidated by this nonsense, have the nerve, have the guts to stand up … to fight to take conservatism’s good name back from the freakshow that’s been running wild for four years."
Matthews reminded Schmidt that he is in part responsible for bring this “Frankenstein’s monster” onto the political stage by tapping her as the vice presidential candidate.
“I have deep regret in my part, certainly, for initiating” Palin’s national platform, he said.
Palin said Cruz and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, are following through with their campaign promises by fighting to defund Obamacare.
“We’d like to believe that the GOP establishment would applaud the way these bold leaders have rallied the grassroots to their cause,” she wrote. “But, no, such praise would require a commensurate level of guts and leadership, and the permanent political class in D.C. is nothing if not gutless and rudderless.”
She added that GOP senators up for re-election should think twice about voting down the measure.
“Oh, and a little reminder to Republican senators up for re-election in 2014: Moose season ends soon, allowing more time on one’s hands. So, we’ll be watching your votes very carefully this week.”