Is Sen. Ted Cruz Using His Bid For President Only To Raise Money for His Senate Re-Election 2018? Some Republicans Are Asking The Question
Chris Cillizza February 14, 2014
On Wednesday, Ted Cruz did something you almost never see in the Senate: He purposefully made political life harder for his Republican colleagues.
By forcing the Senate to round up 60 votes to end debate and force a final vote on a clean increase of the debt ceiling, Cruz knowingly complicated things for the top two Republicans in the chamber -- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (Texas). Both men face primary challenges from their ideological right and neither relished the idea of helping break a filibuster for a debt ceiling increase with no Republican proposals attached.
Here's how the Wall Street Journal's conservative op-ed page described what Cruz did:
"We're all for holding politicians accountable with votes on substantive issues, but Mr. Cruz knew he couldn't stop a debt increase the House had already passed. He also had no alternative strategy if the bill had failed, other than to shut down the government again, take public attention away from ObamaCare, and make Republicans even more unpopular."
It's not news that Cruz cares little for Senate tradition. He ran in 2012 on his willingness to shake up the institution, and time and again -- most notably during his nearly 24 hour talk-a-thon to protest Obamacare -- he has been willing (and gleefully so) to be a fly in the ointment. But, this latest gambit by Cruz may well be the most telling because it directly impacts two men who, if Cruz had any thought of sticking around the Senate for any extended period of time, not only could, but would make life very uncomfortable for him.
There is nothing that politicians -- and especially Senators -- hate more than being forced into a politically uncomfortable vote by a colleague of the same party. McConnell and Cornyn, both of whom are favorites to win their primaries, will never forget Cruz's move this past week. And, Cruz is plenty smart enough to realize that.
Cruz, ultimately, wants to be president. And, he may well seize his high profile and his status as a hero among the tea party to run in 2016. (If he runs, he is either in or very close to the top tier of candidates.) If Cruz doesn't win (or doesn't run), he won't be up for re-election until 2o18. He may well run for a second term but if he decides at some point between now and then -- or even after he is re-elected -- to go the Jim DeMint route and simply walk away from the Senate, don't be surprised.
Cruz won't be climbing the leadership ladder. Ever.
September 23, 2013, 02:42 pm
Ted Cruz should resign from the Senate and run for president
By Brent Budowsky
You don't agree? Let me suggest a respected Texas or national media organization take a confidential "whip count" and ask House Republicans and Senate Republicans these questions: On a scale of 0 to 10, 0 meaning a senator is totally ineffective and 10 meaning a senator is highly effective, how would you rate Ted Cruz? And: If Sen. Cruz asks you to support a legislative action, are you more likely, or less likely, to support this action because it is Sen. Cruz proposing it?
There are those legislators who are called work horses, who get things done to help their constituents and our country; and there are those who are called show horses, who get nothing done but waste taxpayer money to showboat for their own personal ego, vanity or ambition.
Cruz is the ultimate show horse — and a whip count, even one limited only to Republicans in the House and Senate — will demonstrate how ineffective and disrespected Cruz has become even among Republicans. It is the job of senators to represent their states. Cruz cannot effectively represent Texas.
Cruz should respect taxpayers and our free enterprise system. He should leave the Senate and stop asking taxpayers to subsidize his antics, and he should run for president and seek private donations to let Republicans decide if they want him to be their nominee in 2016. My guess is that Cruz will not run for reelection to the Senate, run for president and lose.
"The Ted Cruz show" will ultimately land where it belongs. Perhaps he will someday land some prime real estate on "Crossfire" to bring pleasure to the 12 people left who enjoy blather stated by show horses, written by spinmeisters, promoted by vanity players, signifying nothing to voters who hunger for leaders.