Claire McCaskill savages Ted Cruz in one brutal tweet: "A lost puppy hoping to get his leftovers"

Missouri Dem hits Cruz for groveling before Donald Trump

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published July 20, 2015 4:46PM (EDT)

  (AP/Nati Harnik)
(AP/Nati Harnik)

"I'm not going to do it."

Republican Presidential candidate Ted Cruz refuses to join the rest of the GOP field in condemning Donald Trump's recent remarks making light of Sen. McCain's time as a prisoner of war and now the Texas senator's weak-kneed approach to the GOP frontrunner is drawing scrutiny.

"You know I recognize that folks in the press love to see Republican-on-Republican violence" Cruz lamented this weekend, blaming the media for manufacturing a controversy. "So you want me to say something bad about Donald Trump, or bad about John McCain or bad about anyone else," he said before adding, "I'm not going to do it."

Speaking with Iowa voters over the weekend, Trump said of John McCain's service during the Vietnam War, “He’s a war hero because he was captured ... I like people that weren’t captured.”

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Sen. Lindsey Graham joined with the Republican National Committee in rebuking Trump, some calling from his exit from the presidential race and declaring no room for such comments in the GOP. But instead of denouncing Trump's attack, Cruz simply tweeted his belief that McCain is "an American hero":

[embedtweet id=622474973265854464]

Well, Missouri Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill found Cruz's refusal to lay an easy jab against a rival peculiar, tweeting that Cruz's behavior towards Trump was "unseemly" and comparing their relationship to that of a "lost puppy" following a man "hoping to get his leftovers when he finally flames out":

[embedtweet id=623154224856174592]

McCaskill's observation may be on point. Last week, Trump confirmed a meeting between the two rivals, a move clearly orchestrated by the Cruz campaign:

TRUMP: Ted Cruz called me, and – I don’t know why I’m meeting him, to be honest. But I do have respect for him. I respect the fact that, along with a couple of others, he came out and he came out very strongly and agreed with what I said on illegal immigration. And he came out very strongly and he came out early. And I respect that. I like him. He called me, he wanted to meet, and we are going to meet. What it’s about, I have absolutely no idea.

It is apparent that Trump is a fan of Trump fans and for now, Cruz looks to be a Trump fan but Cruz's willingness to embrace Trump is even more curious given that earlier this year, Trump said Cruz faced a particular "hurdle that nobody else seems to have at this moment":

He was born in Canada, if you know, and when we all studied our history lessons, you’re supposed to be born in this country, so I just don’t know how the courts would rule on it. But it’s an additional hurdle that he has that no one else seems to have.

By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

MORE FROM Sophia Tesfaye

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2016 Elections Donald Trump Gop Sen. Claire Mccaskill Ted Cruz