What Ted Cruz Thinks About the 2016 Contenders

Hillary Clinton is “misguided,” Rand Paul is “liberty loving,” and Chris Christie is “brash.”

US Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) waits to speak at the Heritage Foundation January 28, 2014 in Washington, DC. Cruz and others spoke about the upcoming winter Olympics in Sochi and Russia's human rights record.
National Journal
Elahe Izad
Feb. 27, 2014, 5:12 a.m.

In a word, Ted Cruz thinks Hil­lary Clin­ton is “mis­guided.”

“She has con­sist­ently been wrong on do­mest­ic policy and for­eign policy,” he said dur­ing a Politico Play­book Break­fast. One ex­ample? Hil­lary­Care, which Cruz called the pre­curs­or to Obama­care. 

Cruz pre­dicts, like many oth­er pun­dits, that Clin­ton is very likely to be the Demo­crat­ic nom­in­ee if she runs in 2016. But to think she’s a shoo-in bey­ond that would be wrong, Cruz said, pre­dict­ing a 40 per­cent chance Demo­crats could win the White House.

“At the end of the day, I re­cog­nize the me­dia all think, ‘Oh, she’s un­stop­pable,’ which is fine,” Cruz said. “But they thought she was un­stop­pable in 2008.”

Aside from Clin­ton, Cruz had only nice things to say about po­ten­tial 2016 Re­pub­lic­an con­tenders, call­ing New Jer­sey Gov. Chris Christie “brash,” — a pos­it­ive ad­ject­ive, ap­par­ently — and Sen. Rand Paul of Ken­tucky “liberty-lov­ing.”

One seni­or Re­pub­lic­an Cruz isn’t eager to is­sue com­pli­ments about? Mitch Mc­Con­nell. He called him a “lead­er,” be­cause “that is what is stenciled on his door.”

“I strongly dis­agree with “¦ some of the de­cisions that Re­pub­lic­an lead­er­ship has made this past year,” Cruz said. “There is a real di­vide over how to win elec­tions.”

That’s cer­tainly no sur­prise, as Cruz didn’t come to Wash­ing­ton to make friends. And at no time was that made more clear than dur­ing the debt-ceil­ing de­bate, when he ob­jec­ted to al­low­ing a simple-ma­jor­ity vote, thereby for­cing at least five Re­pub­lic­ans to vote for a pro­ced­ur­al mo­tion to al­low the debt-ceil­ing bill to move for­ward. In the end, 12 Re­pub­lic­ans, in­clud­ing nearly all of the lead­er­ship, voted yes. 

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