03/23/2015 03:20 pm ET | Updated Mar 23, 2015

GOP Rep. Peter King Slams Ted Cruz For 'Carnival' Antics


Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) wasted no time bashing Sen. Ted Cruz after the Texas Republican became the first major candidate to announce he will seek the presidency in 2016.

"Shutting down the federal government and reading Dr. Seuss on the Senate floor are the marks of a carnival barker not the leader of the free world," King, who's also considering running in 2016, said in a Monday statement, according to CNN.

King's comments reference the GOP's frustration with Cruz for helping prompt the government shutdown in 2013. In the lead up to the shutdown, Cruz gave a 21-hour speech on the Senate floor to protest the funding of the Affordable Care Act, during which he recited Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham.

Frequent "Morning Joe" guest Donny Deutsch also blasted Cruz for his hijinks Monday morning.

"He is Sarah Palin," Deutsch said on the MSNBC show. "He is theater. He is completely unelectable."


Ted Cruz