Sen. John Boozman lit into Sen. Ted Cruz during a closed-door meeting this week, underscoring the mounting tension within the Senate Republican Conference over the Texas freshman’s hardball tactics on Obamacare.
Boozman is usually quiet and reserved in private sessions, but on Tuesday he could no longer keep his anger reserved, according to four people who witnessed the exchange.
Boozman, an Arkansas Republican elected in 2010, stood up and yelled at Cruz, expressing frustration that his staff was deluged with belligerent phone calls mostly from out-of-state activists attacking the senator over the issue of defunding Obamacare, according to several sources familiar with the exchange. Boozman also slammed Cruz for suggesting Republicans were in favor of the three-year-old law even though all of them opposed it and have repeatedly voted to repeal it.
Staring at Cruz, Boozman said he hasn’t been bullied since the seventh grade and he wouldn’t be bullied now.