WASHINGTON — The barbs are personal and the differences are multiplying among Republicans, a party divided over spending, foreign policy, a willingness to risk a government shutdown in order to defund the health care law and more.
“I didn’t start this one and I don’t plan on starting things by criticizing other Republicans,” Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky said recently as he and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie likened one another to various cuts of a butchered pig.
“But if they want to make me the target, they will get it back in spades.”
No matter who started it, in the past few months, one Republican called others “wacko birds,” another said some of the party’s lawmakers were “stale and moss-covered” and a third suggested one member of the GOP was a tool of the White House.
A recent flare-up over defunding the health law prompted Texas Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas to question the political manhood of fellow Republicans unwilling to risk closing down the government over the future of “Obamacare,” as GOP critics call the law they want to repeal. “They’re scared of being beaten up politically,” he said.