Ann Coulter is standing by her “love,” Ted Cruz.
The conservative pundit told “Power Players” that Cruz has a “huge” future in the Republican Party after leading the effort that led to the 16-day government shutdown earlier this month.
“I think he has a very bright future,” Coulter said of Cruz. “He was over in the House whipping the House Republicans. He was like a general in this.”
Coulter, who has previously called the government shutdown “magnificent,” explained why she supported Cruz’s hard-line stance of refusing funding for the government unless the president’s health care law was repealed.
“I think it was a good thing, because it branded Republicans as the anti-Obamacare party,” Coulter said. “Obamacare is less popular than the bubonic plague right now. That's a great branding,”
Coulter has just published a new book “Never Trust a Liberal Over 3 – Especially a Republican,” in which she makes a case that Republican activist groups, including some that have the support of Cruz, should stop mounting primary challenges to Republican members of Congress in an effort to replace less conservative Republicans.
“I think it's an enormous mistake,” Coulter said. “I'm going to have a chat with my love, Ted Cruz, because he's been so magnificent in everything else. I'm thinking we want to concentrate on taking out or replacing Democratic senators with Republican senators in Louisiana, in Arkansas, in Montana, in West Virginia, and Alaska. Those are big fat targets.”
She expressed particular irritation with a current primary challenge to replace Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., with Tea Party candidate Matt Bevin.
“They're driving me crazy on that,” Coulter said. “Mitch McConnell is a fantastic conservative. He was the Ted Cruz on campaign finance reform. Did they not remember who Mitch McConnell is? … He was the Republican leader in the Senate when not one single Republican voted for Obamacare.”
When it comes to picking an ideal Republican presidential candidate for 2016, Coulter said she’s not that picky, so long as the GOP sticks to governors and senators.
“All I care about is that we only have governors and senators in our primaries,” Coulter said. “I’ve made this mistake. I've supported, you know, Duncan Hunter for a while, I was on the 9-9-9 bandwagon last year – loved Herman Cain. Okay, I've learned my lesson. … No congressmen, no inspirational leaders, no one who's only been a businessman.”
The most critical issue for the Republican Party today, Coulter said, is immigration reform. She makes the case that it would be a “silver bullet” to the heart of the Republican Party if the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the country are given a path to citizenship.
“Amnesty, I do think, is a do or die issue, more important than any other issue,” Coulter said. “It changes the country, Republicans lose across the board; they lose everything if we give Democrats 30 million new voters.”
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has recently fallen from grace in Coulter’s mind because of his support for immigration reform.
When asked about her previous labeling of Rubio as a rising star of the GOP, Coulter replied: “Not anymore.”
To hear more about Coulter’s election strategy for Republicans, as well as her thoughts on other prominent Republicans such as Chris Christie, check out this episode of “Power Players.”
ABC News’ Alexandra Dukakis, Tom Thornton, Melissa Young and Bob Bramson contributed to this episode.