The Washington Times - September 25, 2013, 07:27AM

As Sen. Ted Cruz chugged toward hour 17 of his filibuster against Obamacare, former GOP Rep. Joe Scarborough said the Texas Republican is leading a “phony debate.”

Mr. Scarborough said that the stunt is about “raising money” and “getting on TV” and also called Mr. Cruz a “short-timer” like former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who quit her job as governor not long after the 2008 presidential election, and Herman Cain, the pizza baron who ran for president in 2012.

SEE RELATED: As Sen. Ted Cruz gives a long speech, Treasury gets short on funding

Mr. Cruz has said that his filibuster is aimed at pressuring lawmakers to listen to the general public and do whatever they can to stop Obamacare. He started speaking at 2:41 p.m. on Wednesday and was joined by several of his colleagues, including Sens. Mike Lee of Utah, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida.

The effort, though, appears doomed, as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid plans to push forward with his plan to strip out the provision in the bill that passed the House bill last week that defunded Obama.

Mr. Scarborough, who now host MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” has been one of Mr. Cruz’s biggest critics, saying that the tea party favorite is adopting the wrong tactics in trying to defund the 2010 Affordable Care Act.