Wednesday, January 13, 2016

How much do they hate Cruz? 49 GOP senators won't defend Ted on presidential eligibility

After Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared he wouldn't be helping Ted "Calgary" Cruz out on the whole Canadian birth issue, Bloomberg's Ben Brody decided to see what's up with Cruz and his Senate colleagues. Answer? They pretty much hate him. Out of all 54 Republican senators, only five—Marco Rubio of Florida, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Mike Lee and Orrin Hatch of Utah, and Jeff Flake of Arizona—offered any support at all.

"I've made a point of staying out of the presidential race," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, whom Cruz called a "liar" on the Senate floor in July, said Sunday in an ABC interview. "I don't think the Senate ought to get in the middle of it."

Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa similarly declined to say if she believes Cruz is a natural born citizen.

"Yeah, I'm not going to comment on that. I just think—let's go through the process and see who Iowa picks," Ernst told Bloomberg Politics on Tuesday.

Senator Steve Daines of Montana, who has endorsed Rubio, also declined to answer the question, instead smiling widely and ducking into a senators-only elevator in the Capitol.

Rubio, as a presidential competitor, probably didn't feel it was politic to attack Cruz on this, leaving that to Donald Trump. He merely says he doesn't "think that's an issue." Sen. John McCain, who in 2008 got a unanimous vote in the Senate supporting his presidential eligibility (he was born in the Panama Canal Zone) says Cruz's birth is "worth looking into."

This is all just sour grapes, says one Cruz backer. Equally pleasant and likable guy Ken Cuccinelli, failed Virginia governor candidate and now president of the Senate Conservatives Fund, says Cruz's fellow Republicans just "despise Ted Cruz because he won't play their game." What's more, they "would rather see Hillary Clinton win the presidency than Ted Cruz." Because he's such an iconoclast. Fellow GOPer Kellyanne Conway, who runs a Cruz Super PAC, tries desperately to spin this into something which makes Cruz not look like a pariah among the people who know him best. "There's a great syllogism: America can't stand Washington; Washington can't stand Ted Cruz."

No comments: