Showing respect for a Republican senator--a conservative one to boot? That's more than Mike Barnicle can seem to comprehend. On today's Morning Joe, when Mark Halperin mentioned that despite disagreeing with Cruz on immigration, he has "great respect" for the Republican Senator from Texas, Barnicle interrupted to ask "why do you have great respect for him?"
After Halperin explained the reasons for his respect, the most Barnicle could manage was a skeptical "okay." Republican commentator Nicolle Wallace also weighed in, ambiguously. View the video after the jump.
Sidenote: when Barnicle posed his question, Republican Nicolle Wallace, of the more moderate wing of the party, can be heard enthusiastically saying "yeah!" Whom was she siding with: Barnicle or Halperin? I'm sincerely not sure.
MIKE BARNICLE: Senator Ted Cruz cast doubt on the [immigration reform] negotiations. In an interview with the Dallas Morning News, Cruz said he believes the President wants the immigration reform effort to quote, crater, so that Democrats can hammer Republicans on the immigration issue in the 2014 mid-term elections. Cruz pointed to the controversial pathway to citizenship, which he said will ultimately kill the bill. The White House responded saying flatly there's no evidence to support the senator's claims. Where are we with Ted Cruz, immigration and the Republicans on the immigration issue?
MARK HALPERIN: I have great respect for Senator Cruz but I think he's totally wrong about that analysis, I think --
BARNICLE: Why do you have great respect for him?
NICOLLE WALLACE: Yeah!
HALPERIN: Ted Cruz? He's a smart man. Worked hard to get his Senate seat.