Former senator Rick Santorum offered qualified praise for Senator Ted Cruz this morning but said the freshman’s effort to force defunding of Obamacare ultimately did “more harm” than good. Santorum said this wasn’t Cruz’s “objective,” which he called “a laudable one,” but he criticized the senator for having no plan to get to his goal of defeating Obamacare.
Meet the Press host David Gregory asked him whether he thought Cruz could be considered “the face of the Republican party,” and Santorum said Cruz is “a face” of the party but not the leader, noting that parties out of the White House often have such a debate over leadership.
As Gregory noted, Santorum ran for president in 2012, won the Iowa caucuses, and ended up presenting a serious, surprising threat as the conservative, grassroots alternative to presumptive nominee Mitt Romney. Senator Cruz spoke at the Iowa Republican party’s Reagan dinner this weekend, and is considered likely to run for president in 2016.