U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz told a conservative conference in Austin Friday that President Barack Obama is lawless, dangerous and terrifying, providing the right-wing rhetoric to his base that makes him so popular in his home state.
The conservative Republican laid out his reasoning for why he thinks the president is "dangerous and terrifying," noting last minute exemptions that the Obama administration made to key provisions of the Affordable Care Act, refocusing enforcement of immigration laws away from certain groups of people in the country illegally, and deciding to allow Colorado and other states to experiment with legalizing marijuana.
Cruz has garnered national attention by frequently condemning the Obama administration and the federal health care overhaul. He has called for the complete repeal of the Affordable Care Act and said he would replace it with a conservative alternative that would expand health care coverage but not regulate policies. Texas has the highest percentage of uninsured people of all states -- about 24 percent.
Obama has said that enacting his health care legislation has been difficult in the face of Republican opposition, and therefore he's had to slow enforcement of some provisions. Regarding marijuana legalization, Obama says states should be allowed to experiment with new laws without federal interference.
Cruz mocked Obama on the final day of the conference organized by the Texas Public Policy Foundation, but offered few new ideas. Cruz is often mentioned as a potential candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.
"There is a level at which all of this is ludicrous, and there is a level at which this is dangerous and terrifying," Cruz said.
Phillip Martin, deputy director of the liberal Progress Texas group, said Cruz's positions have damaged the nation, particularly when he led Republican efforts to shut down the U.S. government if Obama did not repeal his health care program.
"Ted Cruz's temper tantrums cost taxpayers billions of dollars and did nothing for the 6 million Texans without health insurance," he said.