The Sky Continues To Collapse On Ted Cruz
Ted Cruz isn't just a flip-flopper on core right-wing issues; he blatantly lies about it as well. Doesn't he understand that everything gets recorded nowadays? In the video above, Tea Party senatorial candidate Cruz, 2011, was being honest with crackpot radio host/immigrant hater Duke Machado, telling him that the Constitution protects birthright citizenship, a concept that is anathema to Know Nothings, xenophobes, racists and extremists on the far right. "The 14th Amendment," he told Machado and his listeners, provides for birthright citizenship. I've looked at the legal arguments against it and I will tell you as a Supreme Court litigator those arguments are not very good. As much as someone may dislike the policy of birthright it's in the U.S. Constitution... I think it's a mistake for conservatives to be focussing on trying to fight what the constitution says on birthright citizenship."
Cut to 2015 and Senator Cruz is now competing for the Republican presidential nomination, he and Rubio clobbering each other over who is more worthy of the Know Nothing mantle, while Trumpf inserts Cruz's "character problems" into the debate. In late August he didn't just reverse his position on birthright citizenship, he tried the Orwellian stunt of rewriting history to claim this has always been his position... gee, even when he was up in Calgary?
"I think we need to end birthright citizenship," he told another far right interviewer. "I'm glad people are talking about this now. Obviously one of the impacts of Donald Trump being in this race is it forces the media to talk about kind of whatever he talks about. So he recently came out against birthright citizenship. I've had that position for many years. Back in 2011 when I was running for the U.S. Senate..."
Do Republican primary voters want "truth" from their candidates? Not that I've ever noticed. They want stances and attitudes that mirror their own. Mike Lupica might be best known as a sports commentator for ESPN and the New York Daily News, but yesterday he was hipping his readers to just who this Ted Cruz fella is: the great pretender of the 2016 race. Long Island Republican Peter King got to him over the weekend and gave him an earful about how mainstream conservatives in Washington feel about Cruz.
Ted Cruz, one of the great phonies to ever run for President, the great pretender of the current political season, says that he is the candidate best suited to unify the country. He can only hope to unify it the way he already has his own party, which hates him more than it hates the President.I guess Herr Trumpf will have something nice to say about Lupica today. He was at the John Wayne Birthplace Museum in Winterset, Iowa yesterday, where he was endorsed by John Wayne's daughter but he took the opportunity to bash Cruz for the assembled media:
“Believe me,” Rep. Pete King told me on Sunday, “there are a helluva lot of Republican congressmen and senators who, even if they agree with Cruz on issues-- can’t stand him personally, and really do dislike him more than Barack Obama.”
This isn’t about the fight that Cruz picked with New York, city and state. That was a fight stopped on cuts almost as soon as it began. No, this is about someone who carries himself as the one candidate speaking up for American values, who carries himself like some kind of American hero, even though his campaign slogan should be this:
When Cruz issued an apology to New Yorkers the other day that was about as sincere as his smile, he finished by telling Sean Hannity, “I apologize . . . to the millions of conservatives, working men and women in New York with common-sense values.”
This comes from somebody who has the instincts of an inside trader, from somebody who wants to be the real political outsider in this race, even though he is a graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law and the George W. Bush administration; who was a Supreme Court clerk; who is the former corporate lawyer who now says it just slipped his mind to file the proper paperwork about a Goldman Sachs loan he got when running for the U.S. Senate.
Surely you know how Cruz explains the pursuit of that loan, the story he tells about it and his wife Heidi, who worked for Goldman Sachs, because that is just one of the crazy coincidences you get in life sometimes.
“Sweetheart,” Cruz says he told her, “I’d like us to liquidate our entire net worth, liquid net worth, and put it into the campaign.” At which point Heidi’s head apparently started bobbing like a bobblehead doll on Heidi Cruz Day at the ballpark.
But you look back on that loan now and have to marvel at what good sports they were at Goldman Sachs, writing a big check to Mr. and Mrs. Cruz even though they had just liquidated everything. Regular people, maybe even the regular New Yorkers that Cruz says he champions, probably look at a payoff like that and wonder where they can go to get one.
They also must wonder what collateral Cruz offered Goldman, his wife’s alma mater, as they ask themselves this question: What assets were they borrowing against?
But then you already know what asset Cruz was putting up. He was putting up the power he would have if he became a United States senator from the state of Texas, and the influence. And this is the guy who says he’s going to clean up Washington. He’s about as believable as Chris Christie, who runs these days as if he were on the front lines in the war against terror when he was a prosecutor in Jersey.
...He says New Yorkers are in love with the media and money, and then sees one of his super PACs get millions from a Long Island hedge funder, Robert Mercer. The money Mercer gives Cruz [$30 million] makes that loan from Goldman Sachs look like tipping money.
We have had a lot of phonies run for President in this country. Never one quite like Ted Cruz, man of the people. Everybody knows how important shaking hands is on the campaign trail. Just know that when you shake hands with this guy, you need to count your fingers afterward.
Ted has got a rough temperament; you can’t call people liars on the Senate floor when they are your leaders. It's not a good thing to do if you want to curry favor and get the positive votes later on down. Ted is worried about his temperament; people are talking about his temperament. I haven’t talked about his temperament but he’s got to be careful because his temperament has been questioned a lot.Today Tom Schaller, author of Whistling Past Dixie, explained to Hill readers why Cruz is a liability for the GOP. He's a "Texan at a time when the South is an anchor around the GOP’s electoral neck. Keep in mind that the GOP’s 'Southern Strategy,' which Richard Nixon first rode to the White House in 1968, works best with non-southern presidential nominees: Nixon and Ronald Reagan were Californians, and both George H.W. Bush and his son George W. Bush were Texas transplants by way of the Northeast.
In a country where Democrats carry overwhelming majorities of non-white voters but also majorities of white voters outside the South, southern sentiments are out of step with the broader population. Conservatives may cheer the fact that the South has been most resistant to increasing the minimum wage, legalizing gay marriage, enforcing reasonable background checks for gun purchases, and decriminalizing marijuana, but the rest of America mostly rejects the South’s politics. (That said, touting rather than rejecting his Canadian roots might actually help Cruz in the Midwest, the most pivotal region in presidential politics the last 80 years.)
Cruz doesn’t speak with a Tom DeLay-style Texas twang, or project the southern affect that his Senate colleagues Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) or Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) do. Still, his tea party-influenced conservative politics are Texan through and through. Like her husband and Obama did in both their elections and re-elections, Hillary Clinton is quite capable of amassing 270 non-southern electoral votes. To win, however, Sen. Cruz would need to significantly broaden his appeal outside his home region.
...If Republicans want to win arguments, call Ted Cruz. But if they want to win the White House, nominating a first-term Texas senator whose greatest political skill is constitutional argumentation makes little sense.
Rubio and his well-funded SuperPACs are absolutely flooding New Hampshire with negative ads about Cruz and Christie. It's getting really ugly and it's adding to a feeling among Republicans that their party just sucks. The Republican Party brand is already in tatters and getting worse every time people view these really ugly, mean-spirited ads. As for Cruz's own personal political brand, I can't imagine the onslaught of Rubio attacks-- attacking both his policies and, more important, his character, are doing anything to help him in the Granite State. No wonder the only candidate in either party with a positive favorability rating is Bernie Sanders!
Meanwhile that Palin endorsement of Trumpf in Iowa was a hot mess. She was awful and it was an unconvincing spectacle. It's still bad news for Cruz, who could actually lose to Trumpf in Iowa now. It's hard to imagine anyone caring what someone like Palin would say about the race but... hey, it's Iowa Republicans we're talking about-- and I bet a lot of them are mad that Cruz demeaned Terry Brandstad yesterday. I guess an expected endorsement from Hate Talk Radio nut Mark Levin will help, if that really comes. Meanwhile, this has been a bad week for Cruz-- and it's only Wednesday!
UPDATE: Bob Dole Says Cruz Is Even Worse Than Herr Trumpf
Republican voters don't seem to care about any of this but Bob Dole, the party's 1996 presidential nominee, told a reporter today that he dislikes Ted Cruz and that the GOP would suffer “cataclysmic” and “wholesale losses” if Mr. Cruz was the nominee, and that Donald J. Trump would fare better.
“I question his allegiance to the party,” Mr. Dole said of Mr. Cruz. “I don’t know how often you’ve heard him say the word ‘Republican’-- not very often.” Instead, Mr. Cruz uses the word “conservative,” Mr. Dole said, before offering up a different word for Mr. Cruz: “extremist.”
“I don’t know how he’s going to deal with Congress,” he said. “Nobody likes him.”
But Mr. Dole said he thought Mr. Trump could “probably work with Congress, because he’s, you know, he’s got the right personality and he’s kind of a deal-maker.” [Cruz agrees with that and is claiming Trump and slimy characters like Schumer will start making deals right away.]
The remarks by Mr. Dole reflect wider unease with Mr. Cruz among members of the Republican establishment, but few leading members of the party have been as candid and cutting.
“If he’s the nominee, we’re going to have wholesale losses in Congress and state offices and governors and legislatures,” said Mr. Dole, who served in the House and Senate for 35 years and won the Iowa caucuses twice. He described Mr. Cruz as having falsely “convinced the Iowa voters that he’s kind of a mainstream conservative.”