New York Times columnist Brett Stephens is throwing some barbs toward Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGOP wrestles with role of culture wars in party’s future Maher on Biden’s trillion plans: ‘Thank God we got Mexico to pay for that wall’ Overnight Defense: Gillibrand makes new push for military sexual assault reform | US troops begin leaving Afghanistan | Biden budget delay pushes back annual defense policy bill MORE (R-Texas).

In joint op-ed “conversation” with fellow columnist Gail Collins, the conservative writer described Cruz unfavorably against a number of fictional figures, including the two-faced friend of Wally Cleaver on the 1950s sitcom “Leave it to Beaver.”

The topic came up as the two columnists discussed President BidenJoe Biden1.6 million US air passengers fly in a day for first time since last March Biden administration eyeing long-term increase in food stamps: report Conspiracy against the poor MORE‘s policies, and Collins brought up the possibility that Cruz or Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisGOP wrestles with role of culture wars in party’s future Will DeSantis, Rubio and Scott torch each other to vault from Florida to the White House? Florida passes bill prohibiting social media companies from banning politicians MORE (R) might run against him as president in 2024.


Stephens wasn’t buying the Cruz scenario.

“Gail, you know that whenever you mention the name of the junior senator from Texas, I think: Eddie Haskell wasn’t that unctuous. Veruca Salt wasn’t that obnoxious. Sherman McCoy wasn’t that full of himself,” Stephens said.


“Uriah Heep wasn’t that sycophantic. Heathcliff wasn’t that twisted. Dorian Gray wasn’t that self-absorbed,” he continued. “Elmer Gantry wasn’t that hypocritical. Willie Stark wasn’t that corrosively ambitious. Faust wasn’t that morally compromised. Lady Macbeth wasn’t that sinister. Iago wasn’t that conniving. Richard III wasn’t that malicious. Mr. Wickham wasn’t that dishonorable. Gollum wasn’t that oleaginous. Norman Bates wasn’t that disturbing. Inspector Clouseau wasn’t that ridiculous.” 

“Sorry, what were we talking about?” Stephens added. 

Stephens said that the person he would like to run in 2024 is Nebraska Sen. Ben SasseBen SasseGOP worries fiscal conservatism losing its rallying cry Hillicon Valley: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube execs to testify at Senate hearing on algorithms | Five big players to watch in Big Tech’s antitrust fight Senators introduce legislation to protect critical infrastructure against attack MORE (R), stating that he’s the most potent challenger to Biden or whoever is on the Democratic ticket.

Sasse is one of seven Republicans in the Senate who voted to convict former President TrumpDonald TrumpFacebook Oversight Board to rule on Trump ban Wednesday Rubio keeping door open on White House bid Lincoln Project taunts Trump, saying he lost to ‘swamp,’ McConnell MORE during his second impeachment trial. 

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