Ted Cruz's long war on Mitt Romney: Newly uncovered audio captures Texan unloading on 2012 nominee

The Tea Partyer was secretly recorded bashing Romney as the worst GOP presidential candidate on Earth

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published July 31, 2015 5:48PM (EDT)

When Tea Party firebrand and Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz lashed out Mitt Romney yesterday for daring to condemn his over-the-top charge that the Obama administration had become the world's leading state sponsor of terror by negotiating a nuclear nonproliferation deal with Iran, it was hardly the first time the Texas senator has attacked his party's 2012 presidential nominee.

According to a new report in the National Journal, during a private speech back in May to the Council for National Policy, a secretive group of top conservative donors and activists whose executive director once boasted "we control everything in the world," Cruz blasted the former governor of Massachusetts as the least qualified person on Earth to challenge President Obama's re-election bid in 2012, citing Romney's own support the so-called blueprint of the president's signature health insurance law, Obamacare:

The Republican Party, in its infinite wisdom, sought out and found the one human being on the face of the planet who had designed and implemented a program just like Obamacare. Literally—there are 7 billion people on Earth. You could have grabbed any other person and asked them, 'Excuse me, sir, have you designed and implemented Obamacare? No? You're a better candidate!'

During an appearance on a conservative Texas radio program yesterday, Cruz argued that Romney “got clobbered” by Obama during the election because he was too afraid to stand up to Obama during the debates to challenge him on the 2012 terror attacks in Benghazi, choosing instead to "just kind of rearrange the pencil on the podium."

Romney invited the scorn of Cruz this latest time because he had the temerity to post a tweet condoning Cruz's rhetoric in opposition to the Iran deal, charging that such language actually "hurts the cause":

[embedtweet id=626719073691410432]

But as the National Journal notes, earlier this year, Cruz blasted a potential Romney in run in 2016 as a recipe for a guaranteed loss, arguing that only a principled conservative rather than what he described as a representative of the "mushy middle" could overtake the White House. Cruz is currently polling eight nationally in the race to become the Republican presidential nominee.

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

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

2012 Elections 2016 Elections Gop Civil War Mitt Romney Romneycare Ted Cruz