Freshman Sen. Ted Cruz may be the darling of the tea party and the bane of Washington’s mainstream political establishment, but he’s beginning to draw fire from some Texas Republicans who worry that he’s more interested in fueling his 2016 presidential ambitions than in tending to Lone Star State business in Washington.
“He’s our Cruz-missile,” a major Texas GOP fundraiser told National Journal. “The wingers love him, and establishment Republicans tolerate him because they’re scared of him. But he’s not taking care of business at home, and he’s already the most hated Texan in Washington.”
Cruz associates pass such brickbats off as sour grapes from a Texas GOP establishment that Cruz embarrassed by demolishing Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, the party favorite, in last year’s primary.
“He’s the toast of conservative gatherings everywhere he goes,” one Cruz ally said. “He really knocks ‘em dead.”
Cruz’s press secretary, Catherine Frazier, noted that since being sworn in last January her boss “has done well over 60 public events in nearly 20 cities across Texas.”
“Senator Cruz’s top priority is serving Texas in the Senate and standing up for the principles that Texans elected him to defend,” Frazier said.
There’s no doubting Cruz’s star power. He’s one of the most sought-after speakers on the national Republican circuit, drawing standing ovations with his attacks on Obama administration policies while excoriating what some call President Obama’s leadership failures.
But the same bombastic style that whips up party faithful and has catapulted him into the 2016 presidential conversation has also alienated some Republican senators who don’t enjoy being lectured to by a colleague with even less senatorial experience than Obama had when he ran for President.
Many Texas Republicans are frankly scared of him. Sen. John Cornyn, who has impeccable conservative credentials, is widely described as fearful of being perceived as to the left of Cruz. When Cruz decided to vote against Sen. John Kerry for secretary of State, Cornyn followed suit. Only one other senator joined them.
“It’s fine that he’s in demand around the country,” one top Texas Republican said. “But he spends relatively little time in Texas. Most Texas businessmen are conservative, but they’re not extreme right and they don’t know him. That’s problematic; it’s time for a little outreach back home.”
Another Cruz skeptic adds: “The problem with Cruz is, he’s angry. He needs to figure out a way to soften his image.”
- 1 Clinton Wins Debate, But Did She Win Over Voters?
- 2 Smart Ideas: The Most Important Election of a 96-Year-Old’s Lifetime; Clinton’s Pitch to Millennials
- 3 Senate Progressives Look to Flex Muscles in 2017
- 4 The District Where Democrats Want a Gun-Control Debate
- 5 The House Republicans Still Mum on Trump
What We're Following See More »
"It was obvious he wasn't prepared." “He only mentioned her email scandal once." "I think he took things a little too personal and missed a lot of opportunities to make very good debate points." That's just a smattering of the reactions of some elected Republicans to Donald Trump's debate performance.
The conventional wisdom is already emerging that Donald Trump opened last night's debate well, but that he faded badly down the stretch. And most viewers apparently witnessed it. "The early Nielsen data confirms that viewership stayed high the entire time. Contrary to some speculation, there was not a big drop-off after the first hour of the 98-minute debate." Final data is still being tallied, but "Monday's face-off may well have been the most-watched debate in American history. CNN and other cable news channels saw big increases over past election years. So did some of the broadcast networks."
As Congress continues to bicker on riders to a continuing resolution, federal agencies have started working with the Office of Management and Budget to prepare for a government shutdown, which will occur if no continuing resolution is passed by 11:59 p.m. on Friday night. The OMB held a call with agencies on Sept. 23, one that is required one week before a possible shutdown. The government last shut down for 16 days in 2013, and multiple shutdowns have been narrowly avoided since then. It is expected that Congress will reach a deal before the clock strikes midnight, but until it does, preparations will continue.