February 10, 2016


The Many Frenemies of Ted Cruz (ROBERT DRAPER, FEB. 8, 2016, NY Times Magazine)

Whenever Cruz has initiated efforts to forge alliances with colleagues, they have frequently gone awry. In the 2014 election cycle, he offered to campaign on behalf of George P. Bush, Jeb Bush's son, who was running for Texas land commissioner. But that was only after he refused to endorse Bush in the G.O.P. primary, when the candidate could have used some support -- rather than in the general election, when he was already coasting to victory against a weak Democrat. As one of Bush's allies put it, "It was obvious he just wanted to claim credit for George P.'s victory."

Similarly, Cruz offered his services in October 2014 to the Iowa Senate candidate Joni Ernst, who was in a close race with the Democratic candidate, Bruce Braley. "When she needed him -- which was during the primary -- he was nowhere to be found," recalls one of Ernst's former advisers. "Then, two weeks before the general election, when we're looking to appeal to swing voters, he tried to come into Iowa in a very crass maneuver. To a person, no one on the campaign thought that having Mr. Government Shutdown two weeks before the election was going to help anyone other than Ted Cruz. So we said no thanks."

More recently, Cruz rankled his fellow G.O.P. presidential candidate and professed friend, the easygoing Ben Carson, when on the day of the Iowa caucus his campaign circulated the erroneous claim that Carson was suspending his campaign. During last Saturday's debate, Cruz apologized but also seemed to blame the media for initiating the rumor -- an explanation that Carson clearly did not buy. Cruz's chief antagonist, Trump, gleefully took note of this. During the closing statements of the debate, when Cruz mentioned his victory in Iowa, Trump followed with a sneering, "That's because you stole Ben Carson's votes, by the way."

Posted by at February 10, 2016 3:47 PM