Appearing as a guest on Friday's Morning Joe on MSNBC, former ABC This Week co-host Cokie Roberts -- currently a political commentator with the network -- made an unusually blunt slam against opponents of amnesty for illegal immigrants as she suggested that conservatives who opposed the left-leaning George W. Bush plan were not among those who "had a brain."
She also provocatively warned that the GOP "can't keep winning by being a bunch of old, grumpy white men."
Host Joe Scarborough set up her comments by taking aim at GOP presidential candidate and Texas Senator Ted Cruz as the MSNBC host recalled what fellow candidate Marco Rubio had to say about him. Scarborough:
The problem with Ted Cruz is, you know, Cokie Roberts, George W. Bush inflamed not only the conservative base but Republicans when he was trying to team up with McCain -- you remember this very well -- McCain and Teddy Kennedy back in '07 for a massive immigration reform bill. Ted Cruz -- Marco is right -- was there. In fact, Ted Cruz was there -- this has been one of the things that's irked me about Ted Cruz from the very beginning. When it was in vogue to be a Bush man, he was the biggest Bush man in Washington, D.C.
The Morning Joe host soon added:
The second it became popular to attack George W. Bush, he was the Tea Partier's Tea Partier. And that is one truth about his character last night that Marco Rubio revealed. Whatever is convenient politically for Ted Cruz in that political season, then Ted Cruz goes that way 100 percent.
Roberts -- an ABC News veteran who was the network's congressional correspondent before co-hosting This Week on Sundays -- began by opining over the "reasons why he's so disliked" in Washington. Roberts:
And that's one of the reasons why he's so disliked here. You know, people think that everyone in Washington's that way, and it's not true. The truth is, is that most people -- most people in politics, yes, they can change their positions, but when they give you their word, they don't go back on their word. And there's just a sense with him that he will do anything for himself. And, of course, President Bush has made it pretty clear he's not very fond of Ted Cruz either. So it goes both ways.
The veteran ABC journalist then took aim at the intelligence of the Republican party's conservative base as she added:
But, you know, George W. Bush was trying to do the smart thing about immigration, which was to, first of all, deal with all of these people who are in this country, but secondly, understanding the demographics of America and understand the Republican party can't keep winning by being a bunch of old, grumpy white men. And that's what it's coming down to.
And anybody who had a brain understood that, but then it became such a problem in the base, that a bunch of people just went and hid behind that wall.