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.
Here is the Cruz list:
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.
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.
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.”
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.