Steve Schmidt rants against GOP ‘asininity’
By: Tal Kopan
September 24, 2013 06:22 AM EDT
Former John McCain senior adviser Steve Schmidt says he has “deep regret” for helping to create a “freak show” wing of the Republican Party when he had a hand in bringing former McCain running mate Sarah Palin to the national stage.
Schmidt said Monday on MSNBC’s “Hardball” it’s time for the GOP to stand up to the “asininity” embodied by Palin and others.
“For the last couple of years, we’ve had this wing of the party running roughshod over the rest of the party. Tossing out terms like RINO saying we’re going to purge, you know, the moderates out of the party,” Schmidt said. “We’ve lost five U.S. Senate seats over the last two election cycles. And fundamentally we need Republicans, whether they’re running for president, whether they’re in the leadership of the Congress, to stand up against a lot of this asininity.”
Schmidt was responding to Palin’s op-ed over the weekend praising Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) for his efforts to defund Obamacare even if it means a government shutdown and urging the Republican Party to go on “Cruz control.”
“Hardball” host Chris Matthews asked Schmidt what he thought of the “Frankenstein monster” he created in Palin and Cruz.
“You finally you saw it with Ted Cruz. Maybe he was the one that who’s got a bridge too far,” Schmidt said. “Maybe we’ll start seeing our elected leaders stop being intimidated by this nonsense, have the nerve, have the guts to stand up and … to fight to take conservatism’s good name back from the freak show that’s been running wild for four years and that I have deep regret in my part, certainly, in initiating.”