Sen. Ted Cruz is training his rhetorical fire on President Obama’s State of the Union speech.
The Texas Republican, who attracted the spotlight in October with his defund-Obamacare campaign that led to the shutdown, is planning to spend the days leading up to Tuesday’s speech on five key issues for conservatives, Cruz said in a statement Wednesday.
“As the president prepares his State of the Union address, he has signaled he has no intention of clearing the air,” Cruz said. “The lack of accountability in Washington is creating a crisis of confidence in this country.”
Cruz plans to ask Obama to focus on the IRS investigation into conservative groups, National Security Agency surveillance, the economy, Benghazi, and Obamacare.
Cruz’s questions to Obama indicate the possible presidential contender’s tack going forward. The approach also comes soon after Cruz hired Paul Teller, the former top aide to the House Republican Study Committee who was dismissed amid allegations he shared information with conservative outside groups.
Since Cruz’s autumn stand over Obamacare, he has kept a lower profile on the Senate floor. Democrats blocked a pair of his amendments to roll back the law during the omnibus appropriations debate, but Cruz did not block a deal to move up a vote on the bill. He ultimately voted against the $1.1 trillion spending bill.
The senator has seen his poll numbers drop since his overnight floor speech on Obamacare in September. In a recent NBC News/Marist poll, Cruz’s support among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents dropped from 10 percent to 5 percent, knocking him from the list of top-five contenders.
What We're Following See More »
"Steve Bannon’s attorney relayed questions, in real time, to the White House during a House Intelligence Committee interview of the former Trump chief strategist" on Tuesday. "Bannon’s attorney Bill Burck was asking the White House counsel’s office by phone whether his client could answer the questions. He was told by that office not to discuss his work on the transition or in the White House."
"The top lobbyist for the U.S. oil-and-gas industry is stepping down after 10 years on the job. Jack Gerard, the president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, sent an email to his staff on Wednesday morning saying that he decided not to seek another five-year contract with the nation’s largest oil-and-gas industry trade association."