Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

Reveal Navigation

Is John Cornyn Really Less Conservative Than Ted Cruz? Is John Cornyn Really Less Conservative Than Ted Cruz? Is John Cornyn Really Less Conservative Than Ted Cruz? Is John Cornyn Really Les...

share
This ad will end in seconds
 
Close X

Not a member? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation
 

 

Hotline On Call

Is John Cornyn Really Less Conservative Than Ted Cruz?

Just 26 votes separate Texas tea partiers' favorite senator from the one they want to beat.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

photo of Scott Bland
December 16, 2013

For Texas tea partiers, the space between Senate hero and Senate villain is just 26 votes.

That is the number of times John Cornyn has cast a different vote this year than the state's other senator, the tea party-preferred Ted Cruz.

It works out to less than 10 percent of the 273 (and counting) roll calls the Senate has taken in 2013.

 

And in some of those votes, including a handful of judicial confirmations for Obama administration appointees, Cornyn staked out a more conservative position than his fellow Texan, who has become a grassroots GOP star in the past two years.

But don't tell that to his tea-party critics. Indeed, while Cruz has been cheered back home for his work in Washington, plenty of activists in Texas have been hoping for the chance to defeat Cornyn in the Texas Republican primary. Some tea-party groups had tried for months to recruit a well-known challenger. (Idiosyncratic Rep. Steve Stockman submitted papers to take up their cause just minutes before the filing deadline last week. Since then, he's bashed Cornyn as "liberal John Cornyn.")

"The problem with Sen. Cornyn isn't that he's some big liberal," said JoAnn Fleming, executive director for one of the groups, Grassroots America We the People, which tried to recruit a challenger to Cornyn. "He continues to do fundraisers and offer support for establishment-type Republicans who we believe aren't helping to get to the root of the problem: big government.... He's done some things we believe aren't in the best interest of the country because they continue to grow government."

Of course, it's the content of particular split votes, not the total number, that most animates Cornyn's detractors. (This analysis counted roll calls in which both senators voted. Cornyn and Cruz have missed five and 16 votes this year, respectively.)

He and Cruz have diverged infrequently, but one such vote was on a cloture motion for a spending bill just before the federal government shut down this fall. Days earlier on Fox News Sunday, Cruz had said, "A vote for cloture is a vote for Obamacare."

And Cornyn has also taken past votes—especially the one to let the federal government bail out endangered banks during the financial crisis of 2008—that have infuriated some conservatives.

That, along with Cornyn's status in leadership (the Senate's No. 2 Republican and two recent terms at the helm of the National Republican Senatorial Committee), has fueled some disquiet about the Lone Star State's senior senator since he won a thoroughly uninteresting primary in 2008 with 81 percent of the vote.

But as his official duties go, there is little daylight between Cornyn and the favorite of the activists working to unseat him.

You May Find These of Interest
Get us in your feed.
Job Board
Search Jobs
Outside Sales Representative
National Federation of Independent Businesses | San Jose, CA
Outside Sales Representative
National Federation of Independent Businesses | Traverse City, MI
Outside Sales - Membership Development
National Federation of Independent Businesses | Rochester, MN
Outside Sales Representative
National Federation of Independent Businesses | Key West, FL
Outside Sales Representative
National Federation of Independent Businesses | Danbury, CT
Outside Membership Sales Rep
National Federation of Independent Businesses | Las Cruces, NM
Outside Sales Representative
National Federation of Independent Businesses | Kingston, NY
Outside Sales Representative
National Federation of Independent Businesses | Coos Bay, OR
Outside Sales Representative
National Federation of Independent Businesses | St. Augustine, FL
Outside Sales Representative
National Federation of Independent Businesses | Kirksville, MO
Outside Sales -Membership Development
National Federation of Independent Businesses | Colorado Springs, CO
Outside Sales Representative
National Federation of Independent Businesses | Newburgh, NY
Legislative Director
National Federation of Independent Businesses | Austin, TX
Outside Sales Representative
National Federation of Independent Businesses | Meridian, MS
Outside Sales Representative
National Federation of Independent Businesses | Hampton, VA
 
Comments
comments powered by Disqus