“Dear patriot,” begins one of the first missives from Rep. Steve Stockman, the newly announced Republican Senate candidate in Texas. “You are in a foxhole fighting to save our constitutional Republic … and the last thing you need is a Republican bayonet in your back. But that’s what liberal John Cornyn has been doing to you every day.”
The thing is, “liberal John Cornyn” actually had the second-most conservative voting record in the Senate in 2012, according to National Journal‘s vote ratings. His 93.8 composite conservative score beat out the likes of then-Sen. Jim DeMint, who now leads the ultraconservative Heritage Foundation.
In his release, Stockman touts his “perfect 100% lifetime conservative rating.” We’re not sure of this particular rating system, but the number theoretically would beat out Cornyn’s 93.8 score — but not by all that much.
Stockman’s argument for challenging Cornyn hinges on the idea that Cornyn is a committed man of the Left. The phrase “liberal John Cornyn” appears 20 times in his Tuesday letter asking for support. “John Cornyn wakes up every morning and works to make the Senate a more liberal place,” he writes, underlining the sentence for emphasis.
While it’s difficult to see how anyone could objectively believe that, Stockman’s 2014 campaign strategy seems immediately obvious: Tie Cornyn to liberalism until it becomes true — at least in the minds of Texas Republican primary voters.