"If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog." That's how Harry Truman downplayed the importance of friendships in politics. But at a certain point, do poor personal relations impede a president's ability to get things done?
On today's Morning Joe, after rolling a clip in which Donald Trump called Ted Cruz a disliked and "very nasty guy" who can't make deals, a discussion ensued as to whether Cruz's personality would be an impediment to his effectiveness as president. Joe Scarborough was particularly harsh in his assessement, saying "it's one thing being an outsider; it's another thing being a pariah."
The incident was cited in which Cruz was unable to get the support of a single Senate colleague, including respected conservatives, to let him have a floor vote.
What do readers think? Is Cruz's unpopularity in DC a red badge of courage? Or does it raise bona fide questions about his ability to get things done as president?
DONALD TRUMP [to George Stephanopoulos]: The truth is he's a nasty guy. He was so nice to me. I mean, I knew it. I was watching. I kept saying come on, Ted, let's go, Ted. But he's a nasty guy. Nobody likes him. Nobody in congress likes him. Nobody likes him anywhere once they get to know him. He's a very, he's got an edge that's not good. You can't make deals with people like that. And it's not a good thing. Not a good thing for the country. Very nasty guy.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: And we saw the tweets. Put those tweets [by Trump] back up: "Ted Cruz said he didn't know he was a Canadiann citizen. He also FORGOT to file his Goldman Sachs million $ loan papers. Not believable." "Everybody that loves the people of New York, and all they have been thru, should get hypocrites like Ted Cruz out of politics."
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: I think Donald Trump made a great point about Ted Cruz not being likable at all, to say the least, especially in Washington. How do you make deals if everyone hates your guts? And wants to squash you like a bug the minute they --
JOE: Well, I wouldn't say hate your guts. I will say this though --
MIKA: I say that like [makes air quotes].
JOE: Ted Cruz doesn't have one other person.
MIKA: Name someone.
JOE: He couldn't get one other Senate colleague to allow him to vote to allow him to move forward.
MIKE BARNICLE: Floor vote.
MIKA: That's a problem. How can you be president?
JOE: And have a floor vote. That's really unprecedented and unheard of in the United States Senate. You always have one person that will at least give you your time. And Ted Cruz has so offended everybody in the United States Senate--he brags about it. If you have 99 senators loathing you while they're working with you, I think his supporters really have to ask the question, what would happen if he's President of the United States? If while they're working with him, he can't get one person to say, yeah, we'll go ahead and give you a floor vote, because he has so offended 99 people. It's one thing being an outsider, it's another thing being a pariah-- that is a recipe for getting nothing done.