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Charlie Sykes Shreds Cruz, Tillis, and Others in GOP For Siding With Trump on Emergency Vote: ‘Spinelessness’ on Display

On Hardball on Thursday, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews spoke with Phillip Rucker of the Washington Post and Charlie Sykes of The Bulwark about the vote in the Senate, and how much of a rebuke it was of the president by by Republicans.

Matthews, after introducing the segment, said the 12 Republicans who voted for the resolution against President Trump’s emergency declaration were demonstrating that they are principled. He turned to Sykes, who agreed, and noted what that says about those who did not rebuke Trump.

“This was a very strong rebuke of the president, and 12 senators breaking with the president is certainly a beginning of something,” said Sykes. “But it could have been bigger and it should have been bigger. Now I thunk that a lot of senators who understood this is an easy vote, this was a red line vote, and yet they chose to cave in, they chose to go along with the White House rather than the constitution.”

Matthews brought up Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina, who had the most dramatic flip-flop in choosing not to join the 12 who voted for the resolution, prompting Sykes to include Sen. Ben Sasse and Sen. Ted Cruz for singling out as well.

“Thom Tillis is afraid of a primary. You have Ben Sasse, who is up for reelection. You have Ted Cruz, who now can no longer be taken seriously as a constitutional conservative,” he said. “I think you have a lot of other Republican senators who really held their nose, and I think are going to pay a price in terms of their reputation for going against what they had said — a lot of these guys are on the record, on tape denouncing Obama’s use of executive authority, and their hypocrisy was really on display.”

“Also, quite frankly, their spinelessness was on display as well,” said Sykes.

Matthews used that to segue to a montage of Republican senators speaking about President Obama using executive authority on immigration, compared with how they talk now about Trump doing so. (In clip above, and isolated below.)

Phillip Rucker weighed in after the clips, saying that “the Senators who voted with Trump today are afraid of Trump, that’s why they voted that way, Ted Cruz included.”

He added later in the clip that Senators are “obeying” Trump because he has “extraordinarily high support within the Republican base. Republican voters overwhelmingly support Trump.”

“We see that in poll after poll after poll. And there’s not a clean ideology, it’s not like he’s enacting a party agenda, he’s enacting a Trump agenda, with a Trump ideology that changes from issue to issue to issue,” he said. “And these Senator are just trying to hang on and preserve their own political lives.”

Watch the clip above, courtesy of MSNBC.

[Featured image via screengrab]

Follow Caleb Howe (@CalebHowe) on Twitter

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