A few weeks ago, the Washington Post's Dana Milbank called Sen. Ted Cruz's (R-Tx.) filibuster phony.
On CBS's Face the Nation Sunday, Milbank took his criticism further calling the Texas senator "a complete phony" who's just riding the Tea Party to get "really famous" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
BOB SCHIEFFER, HOST: Talk to me about Ted Cruz. This is really unusual in this town that's built on seniority, where you have a freshman senator who's not only emerged as the leader of this in the Senate, but is actually leading the House Republicans, sometimes against their own leader.
DANA MILBANK, WASHINGTON POST: And more than that, he's a complete phony. I met Ted Cruz 15 years ago. He wasn't some Tea Party guy. He was an ambitious kid working for the Bush campaign, Ivy League debater.
And basically what he saw is, "Hey, Sarah Palin can do that in 2010. I can ride this Tea Party. I can take it to town, and I can get really famous, really fast."
He's absolutely right. He's a real smart guy. He's playing this game very well. I feel bad for John Cornyn, who's a serious man who actually could cut a deal, who's terrified.
So because Cruz isn't what Milbank saw fifteen years ago, that makes him a phony?
Cruz is currently 42. That means Milbank met him when he was 27.
I know my political views are quite different from those I possessed when I was 27. How about yours?
Isn't it also quite likely that the emergence of the Tea Party has made a lot of Americans think differently about politics and the role of the federal government?
I don't know about Milbank, but like many Americans, I've seen a lot of Cruz in recent weeks - including from the Senate Gallery recently - and he seems like a pretty genuine guy to me.
Frankly, I think that's what really scares media members such as Milbank.