The Ted Cruz Show is just getting underway, but we’ve had a few years to preview what comes next. Nonetheless, the Texas junior does provide some new material; it’s not all a rehash. To wit, BoingBoing brings the first logo controversy of the 2016 cycle for the flaming American flag that resembles the Al Jazeera marque.
And if that isn’t enough of an omen, how about the ringing non-endorsement from the Sen. John Cornyn, the Texas senior: “You know, we’ve got a lot of Texans who are running for president, so I’m going to watch from the sidelines.” Manu Raju of Politico tries to explain:
Cornyn’s position does not come as much of a surprise. The tea party freshman refused to back Cornyn during the senator’s crowded primary race last year, unlike in Kentucky where Paul aggressively campaigned for McConnell last year and backed him during his primary bid. But Cruz insisted he would stay neutral in Cornyn’s primary race, which he easily won.
While Cornyn and Cruz are on friendly personal terms, they have been on the opposite sides on a number of tactical disagreements, including over the 2013 government shutdown fight. And the young Texan consistently bashes the Senate leadership team where Cornyn serves in the second-ranking spot.
While such public endorsements may not move voters in early states like Iowa or New Hampshire, the backing of powerful members of Congress can help upstart candidates tap vast donor networks. Cornyn has built a deep campaign war chest after running three times in an expensive state like Texas as well as chairing the National Republican Senatorial Committee in two straight cycles.
“Nope,” Cornyn said when asked if he would lend his financial support to Cruz. “You got a lot of people involved, and I don’t see any benefit to them or to me.”
Mr. Cruz himself hopes to bring a little wisdom to the contest, as Kendall Breitman reports:
In an interview Tuesday on “CBS This Morning,” the Texas senator told his TV hosts that he “grew up listening to classic rock” but that that soon changed.
“My music taste changed on 9/11,” Cruz said.
“I actually intellectually find this very curious, but on 9/11, I didn’t like how rock music responded,” he said. “And country music, collectively, the way they responded, it resonated with me.”
Cruz’s comments came during a lightning round of interviews the morning after he announced his candidacy for president in 2016 in a John Lennon-inspired, “Imagine”-themed speech.
And, of course, we can’t possibly discuss the 2016 cycle without a nod to Kentucky junior Sen. Rand Paul, who is set to declare his own bid for the Republican presidential nomination next month. Benjy Sarlin of msnbc tells us:
The Kentucky senator seemed all too happy to deflate Cruz’s big moment, noting that it took place at a Liberty University convocation with mandatory attendance and that some of his own supporters were out in force wearing “Stand with Rand” t-shirts.
While Paul suggested that he and Cruz had a similar conservative record, he said he offered an “intellectually enticing” message to non-Republicans rather than just “throwing out red meat” to likeminded audiences. Paul is banking his 2016 campaign on a plan to attract young and minority voters to the party with a libertarian message on civil rights, including criminal justice reform and restrictions on government spying, and a more dovish foreign policy.
“I guess what is different is our approach to how we would make the party bigger,” Paul said.
There is certainly a mystery about that last; we might offer a crude joke suggesting the two candidates have a race to father illegitimate children; after all, inviting nonwhites or women to participate in the GOP circus is a risky venture―it’s hard to find good women like Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, or her colleague from North Carolina, Rep. Virginia Foxx, to stand in front of the camera and tell Americans that every issue pertaining to women ought to think mainly about men.
And what consideration of presidential campaigning would be complete without two cents from Donald Trump? Or, as Leslie Larson of Business Insider puts it, “Donald Trump is keeping the birther movement alive and has taken aim at Canadian born Sen. Ted Cruz.”
Or perhaps we should simply wait until something important actually happens.
Then again, if 2012 should serve as any lesson, we might as well sit around waiting for Godot.
Image note: Top―Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas announces his campaign for president, Monday, March 23, 2015, at Liberty University, founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, in Lynchburg, Va. Cruz, who announced his candidacy on twitter in the early morning hours, is the first major candidate in the 2016 race for president. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) Right―Campaign logo for Ted Cruz’s 2016 presidential bid. Critics have noted its resemblance to the Al Jazeera logo.
Pescovitz, David. “Presidential candidate Ted Cruz’s burning flag Al Jazeera logo”. BoingBoing. 23 March 2015.
Raju, Manu. “Fellow Texan John Cornyn won’t back Ted Cruz in presidential primary”. Politico. 23 March 2015.
Breitman, Kendall. “Ted Cruz: I stopped listening to rock music after 9/11”. Politico. 24 March 2015.
Sarlin, Benjy. “Ted Cruz and Rand Paul offer 2016 preview in dueling interviews”. msnbc. 23 March 2015.
Larson, Leslie. “Donald Trump is a Ted Cruz birther”. Business Insider. 23 March 2015.