As Senate boos Cruz, Ted gets lotsa Lege love from Texas Republicans

Good morning Austin:

Sen. Ted Cruz may find himself isolated from his Senate colleagues in Washington, but the Texas Legislature is thick with senators and representatives who would like to see Cruz elected president.

Cruz’s presidential campaign Wednesday released a list of five Texas state senators and 36 state representatives who are endorsing Cruz for president. That’s pretty impressive, considering that there are 20 Republicans in the Senate and 97 Republicans in the House. It means that Cruz has the support of 35 percent of the party’s legislative caucus.

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Here is the Cruz list:

Senate

Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury. Chair, Senate Committee on Nominations.

Konni Burton, R-Colleyville. Vice Chair, Senate Committee on Veteran Affairs and Military Installations.

Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe. Vice Chair, Senate Committee on Veteran Affairs and Military Installations.

Bob Hall, R-Edgewood.

Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham. Vice Chair, Senate Committee on Health and Human Services.

House

Charles “Doc” Anderson, R-Waco. Vice Chairman, House Committee on Agriculture and Livestock.

Cecil Bell Jr., R-Magnolia.

DeWayne Burns, R-Cleburne.

Gary Elkins, R-Houston. Chair, House Committee on Government Transparency and Operation.

Pat Fallon, R-Frisco.

Allen Fletcher, R-Cypress Chair, House Select Committee on Emerging Issues in Texas Law Enforcement.

Dan Flynn, R-Canton. Chair, House Committee on Pensions.

John Frullo, R-Lubbock. Chair, House Committee on Insurance.

Dan Huberty, R-Humble.

Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola.

Mark Keough, R-The Woodlands.

Stephanie Klick, R-Fort Worth.

Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth.

Brooks Landgraf, R-Odessa.

Jodie Laubenberg, R-Parker. Chair, House Committee on Elections.

Jeff Leach, R-Plano.

Will Metcalf, R-Conroe.

Doug Miller, R-New Braunfels. Chair, House Committee on Special Purpose Districts.

Rick Miller, R-Sugar Land.

Jim Murphy, R- Houston. Chair, House Committee on Corrections.

Andrew Murr, R-Junction.

Larry Phillips, R-Sherman. Chairman, House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety.

John Raney, R-Bryan/College Station

Debbie Riddle, R-Tomball. Vice Chair on Juvenile Justice and Family Issues.

Matt Rinaldi, R-Irving.

Matt Schaefer, R-Tyler

Matt Schofield, R-Katy.

Matt Shaheen, R-Plano.

Wayne Smith, R-Baytown. Chair, House Committee on Recreation and Tourism.

Stuart Spitzer, R-Kaufman.

Tony Tinderholt, R-Arlington.

Scott Turner, R-Frisco.

Molly White, R-Belton.

John Wray, R-Waxahachie.

Bill Zedler, R-Arlington.

John Zerwas, R-Richmond. Chair, House Committee on Higher Education.

Cruz already has the endorsement of six congressmen from Texas – Louis Gohmert, R-Tyler, Michael Burgess, R-Fort Worth, John Culberson, R-Houston, Randy Weber, R-Galveston, John Ratcliffe, R-Heath, and Brian Babin, R-Woodville.

This is useful, as vote of confidence, and, with the March 1 Texas primary being waged congressional district by congressional district, it is useful on the ground, district to district.

The blitz of home state legislative support followed on the heels of Cruz’s effort to knee-cap Sen. Rand Paul by releasing a video highlighting testimonials of support from Ron Paul-loving libertarians.

Cruz also named former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr national Chair of the Liberty Leaders for Cruz coalition.

Bob Barr is Chairman of Liberty Guard, Inc., a non-profit and non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting individual liberty. He also heads a consulting firm, Liberty Strategies, Inc. From 2003 to 2008, Bob occupied the 21st Century Liberties Chair for Freedom and Privacy at the American Conservative Union. He is a member of The Constitution Project’s Initiative on Liberty and Security.

He was the 2008 Libertarian Party candidate for president.

If I were Rand Paul, I would keep in very close touch with dad.

Instead, Paul sidled up to The Man in D.C. , criticizing Cruz for having marginalized himself, neutering his ability to be effective in the Senate.

This is not an argument that is going to hurt Cruz with lovers of Ron Paul.

Yesterday, Burgess Everett of Politico reported, How McConnell outfoxed Ted Cruz: Cruz can’t get the best of the GOP stalwart.

Ted Cruz called out Mitch McConnell seven times by name on Monday night. Afterward, the Senate majority leader barely uttered a word about his chief Republican adversary.

Asked about Cruz’s diatribe on the Senate floor, during which the Texas Republican suggested McConnell is a puppet for Democratic leaders and a foe of conservatives, McConnell couldn’t conceal his smile on Tuesday.

 “I have tried very hard to stay out of the presidential race, and I think that’s probably a good rule for me,” he said with a chuckle.

McConnell may not like to talk about Cruz, but he and his leadership lieutenants have quietly and methodically worked to isolate the conservative senator and minimize his effect on the critical fall spending debate. The end result, in spite of Cruz’s invective toward Republican leaders, is music to McConnell’s ears: no government shutdown.

“We had to be prepared,” said John Thune of South Dakota, the No. 3 Senate Republican. “He’s running for national office. He’s got a different endgame than we do. There are things we have to do here. We’ve got to fund the government every year.”

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In his blistering speech on Monday, Cruz said that McConnell is “not willing to lift a finger” to take on Planned Parenthood or Iran and said that, despite massive GOP majorities, “Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi remain the de facto leaders in the Senate and the House.” He also accused McConnell of using an “unprecedented procedural trick” by denying Cruz a roll call protest vote on Monday, a move that was backed by the vast majority of the Senate GOP conference but opposed by Cruz and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah.).
On Tuesday, the blackout continued, even though Cruz had beckoned voters to watch his attempt to again force a vote to disrupt the spending bill. But he couldn’t make this move without some agreement from his colleagues, and they were unwilling to give it to him.
“Ted has chosen to make this really personal and chosen to call people dishonest in leadership and call them names which really goes against the decorum and also against the rules of the Senate,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a rival of Cruz’s for the GOP presidential nomination who has earned a tepid endorsement from McConnell, said on Fox News Radio. “As a consequence, he can’t get anything done legislatively. He is pretty much done for and stifled.”
Cruz declined to comment for this story when asked about the box-out by fellow senators. And perhaps there wasn’t much left to say: He’d again insulted McConnell by comparing him to Reid, boasted about Boehner’s downfall and exhausted his procedural leverage — leaving Cruz to tout his war against McConnell on the campaign trail.
Declined to comment?
Cruz probably couldn’t stop grinning long enough to comment.
I suppose he’s OK with Mike Lee sticking with him, even though it might be even cooler to be all by himself, the lone gutsy truth-teller. And Rand Paul throwing in with Mitch McConnell over Ted Cruz. Don’t they have a real tea party in Kentucky? At this rate, Paul may even blow his chance to pick up the endorsement of Rep. Jonathan Stickland, a liberty-minded tea party hero whose name was missing from the Cruz list.
Cruz likes nothing better than railing against everybody else on the Senate floor.

And then there’s this from Bloomberg: The Isolation of Ted Cruz. The Texan has accumulated an unlikely amount of power by seizing the Tea Party mantle, but it’s not helping much in the Republican bid to win the Senate.

 

Cruz is probably more worried about Carly Fiorina drawing more fire for her attack on Planned Parenthood than he is, than he is about the daggers being directed his way by 98 of his colleagues.

He is running for president of the United States, not Senate whip.

Cruz can’t be more unWashington than Donald Trump or Ben Carson or Carly Fiorina because, after all, he is actually a member of the Senate. But, given that, being the most reviled man on Capitol Hill is pretty good.

And it’s doing nothing to undermine his standing with Republican legislators in that other Capitol back in Austin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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