Rand Paul rebukes Ted Cruz

Story highlights

  • Ted Cruz and Rand Paul were once political allies
  • "I am still just as hardcore in saying what we are doing, I just chose not to call people liars on the Senate floor," Paul said.

Washington (CNN)The rift between Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, political allies turned rivals, widened on Tuesday when Paul decried his Senate colleague's hardline tactics.

Paul criticized Cruz for breaching Senate decorum, saying the Texan could not accomplish any of his legislative priorities because of how much his GOP colleagues despise him.
"Ted has chosen to make this really personal and chosen to call people dishonest in leadership and call them names, which really goes against the decorum and also against the rules of the Senate, and as a consequence he can't get anything done legislatively," Paul said in an interview on Fox News Radio on Tuesday. "He is pretty much done for ... and it's really because of personal relationships, or lack of personal relationships, and it is a problem."
    Paul said he was "still just as hardcore" in taking on the establishment as Cruz, but has declined to call colleagues names.
    Last month, Cruz said on the Senate floor that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had lied to him.
    Paul and Cruz have had a close relationship as two of the most libertarian members of the Senate GOP. But even though they were both elected with tea party support, they have increasingly forged different paths to power in the Senate.
    Paul has allied himself with fellow Kentuckian McConnell, endorsing the Senate majority leader during his re-election bid last year when the ultimate insider faced down a conservative primary challenger. McConnell reciprocated the favor by endorsing Paul's presidential bid this year.
    Paul's critique of Cruz came on the same day the Texas senator unveiled a leadership team of libertarians who supported Paul's father, former Rep. Ron Paul of Texas.
    The "Liberty Leaders for Cruz" coalition featured Iowans saying Ron Paul's legacy was best perpetuated by Cruz.
    "The biggest thing about Ted Cruz was that I knew he had been endorsed by Ron Paul and by Rand Paul," said county supervisor Crystal McIntyre Tuesday, speaking of Cruz's Senate race.