WASHINGTON -- Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz made a remarkable admission on the floor of the U.S. Senate Wednesday, admitting in a dispute with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) that not only does he not trust Democrats, he doesn't trust Republicans, either.
McCain had challenged Cruz, as well as fellow tea party Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.), Mike Lee (Utah) and Rand Paul (Ky.), to let the Senate appoint conferees to work out a federal budget with the GOP-controlled House for the first time in four years.
The tea party members, however, are insisting on a highly unusual set of pre-conditions first, including requiring that the conferees be barred from raising the debt limit. Normally, McCain argued, the Senate gives them instructions, but recognizes that there needs to be room for negotiations in conferences.
McCain said their refusal amounts to not trusting the Republicans who lead the House to stand by their stated oppostion to raising the debt limit without major cuts.
Surprisingly, Cruz agreed.
"Let me be clear. I don't trust the Republicans," Cruz said, casting it as a broader distrust of a government that has rung up more than $16 trillion in debt. "And I don't trust the Democrats. And I think a whole lot of Americans likewise don't trust the Republicans and the Democrats because it is leadership in both parties that has gotten us in this mess."
Watch McCain and Cruz in the video above.
Michael McAuliff covers Congress and politics for The Huffington Post. Talk to him on Facebook.