Ted Cruz had the IRS commissioner in his sights — and he wasn’t holding back.
At a Senate committee hearing on Wednesday, the Texas senator and Republican president hopeful compared the agency’s targeting of conservative political groups to the abuse of executive power that led to President Richard Nixon’s downfall.
“No politician has the right to use the machinery of the executive branch to target their political enemies,” Cruz said, blasting the Obama administration’s use of the IRS to harass conservative non-profits.
With Commissioner John Koskinen seated in front of him, Cruz argued that the IRS abuses – and the subsequent destruction of agency emails – had an eerie similarity to Nixon’s attempted cover-up of Watergate as well as his use of the IRS to hit political opponents.
“When Richard Nixon did it, it was wrong. And he rightly resigned from the presidency in disgrace,” he said.
Amid calls for Koskinen’s resignation over the IRS scandal, Cruz slammed the agency’s abuse of power before taking aim directly at Obama.
“Obama has become the embodiment of the imperial presidency,” Cruz said. “Barack Obama has become the President that Richard Milhous Nixon always wished he could be.”
He argued that the agency’s political actions make for a strong argument to abolish the IRS, telling Koskinen that the abuse – and subsequent attempts to cover it up – would have made Nixon proud.
“Nixon’s ghost must have been smiling,” Cruz said, according to the Washington Post.
Of course, as Cruz pointed out, there is still a pretty big difference between Nixon and Obama. Nixon resigned after discussing plans to abuse the power of the executive branch.
Obama, on the other hand, can’t even bring himself to fire the people who actively engaged in abuse at the IRS.
That must be one of the perks of being a Democrat president with a friendly media.