Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) does not trust Democrats, but more shockingly, Cruz also doesn’t trust Republicans.
Although the Senate budget won approval over two months ago, Republicans like Cruz have continued to resist more moderate Republicans’ call to name a conference committee that would reconcile differences with the House budget. Cruz fears his colleagues in the House will compromise on the budget and raise the debt ceiling. His unashamedly conservative stance on issues like these have made him a favorite for the 2016 Presidential race, but Cruz is far too radical to ever take the White House.
Watch Cruz make his statements below:
Other Republicans like John McCain (Ariz.) have called Cruz’s tactics in the Senate “insane” and “incomprehensible.” McCain further argued that the Senate can instruct the conference committee on how to approach the budget, but there must be room for negotiations. But Cruz and his ilk demand there be pre-conditions that prevent any increase in the debt ceiling or any increase in revenues.
The two have disagreed frequently over the past months, highlighting the divide in the Republican Party between moderates and conservatives. Cruz’s accusations of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel taking money from North Korea received strong condemnations from McCain. Further, McCain called Cruz and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) “wacko birds” after the two filibustered the nomination of CIA Director John Brennan.
But establishment disdain has only energized the young Senator, and his no-compromise ideology has made him a Tea Party darling. The Harvard Law alum and national debate champion would be the intelligent man’s Sarah Palin. Like Palin, he draws the ire of liberals like Chris Matthews and Cher. Moreover, he stands in contrast to the establishment with his opposition to bipartisan measures on gun control and immigration. He even voted against nominating John Kerry as secretary of state and Jack Lew as secretary of Treasury, making him arguably even more conservative than Paul. His strong social conservative views would make him top the list in the Iowa caucuses, an important part of the GOP presidential primary process. Cruz was also invited to be a keynote speaker at the influential Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and the South Carolina GOP’s annual fundraising dinner.
Liberals and moderates need not fret, though. There is no chance that Cruz could become president . Admittedly, he would perform better in debates than the likes of Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann, but the Republicans have a recent history of nominating moderates as their candidate. To some part this reflects the primary electorate, but also that conservatives divide their vote. In 2008, the conservatives divided over Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee allowing moderate John McCain to win. Romney, steering to the middle in 2012, won out over conservatives like Rick Santorum and Rick Perry. The 2016 field is expected to be no different with Cruz potentially competing with arch-conservatives like Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Paul, opening room for a moderate like Chris Christie or Jeb Bush to win the nomination.
If for some odd reason, Cruz is nominated as the Republican candidate, rest assured that he would be defeated in a landslide. It would be comparable to Barry Goldwater’s loss in 1964 or George McGovern’s in 1972. In a time when the Republican Party must respond to the country’s changing demographics and cries for more moderate social views, nominating Cruz would be hearkening to the past.
The more successful scenario for Cruz would be to remain in the Senate and continue to be a thorn in the sides of establishment Republicans and Democrats. After Jim DeMint’s retirement, the Senate is sorely in need of another Tea Party agitator. And his haranguing of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) over gun control and constant tension with McCain seem to make him the perfect replacement.