Peace offering: Ted Cruz reportedly promises Senate colleagues he won’t campaign against them

posted at 4:01 pm on October 31, 2013 by Allahpundit

Take it from me, senator: Never go full RINO.

No, no, kidding. The bad news? If you were hoping to see a few Cruz missiles lobbed at Republicans like Mitch McConnell in the primaries next year, you’re out of luck. The good news? If you were hoping to vote for him for president in 2016, this suggests that, yeah, he’s thinking about running.

At a closed-door lunch meeting of Senate Republicans Wednesday, the freshman conservative told his colleagues that he would not intervene in their 2014 primary fights or fundraise for the controversial outside group. Cruz added that the [Senate Conservatives Fund's] decision to try to defeat sitting GOP senators in their primaries was its alone, according to several people familiar with the session.

According to one source familiar with the meeting in the Senate’s Mansfield Room, Cruz noted that Republican Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky wouldn’t fundraise for the group and promised that his image would be removed from its materials. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told Cruz that Paul took such an action six months ago, but he thanked the Texas conservative for doing so. Other GOP senators also thanked Cruz, sources say…

One source said Cruz made clear to his colleagues at the Wednesday meeting that he would not associate himself with the group any longer. But a Cruz spokeswoman said the senator would still be involved with the group’s effort in “promoting conservative causes.”

Senate Republicans allegedly first got in Cruz’s face about the SCF back on October 2, the day after the shutdown began. They asked him to renounce the group but he refused. The new promise not to campaign against anyone while maintaining his relationship with the SCF is a sort of compromise. Then again, if Cruz is still going to work with the group on “causes,” does it much matter that he won’t be formally endorsing any primary challengers? E.g., if a new deal is forged on immigration reform next summer and Cruz turns opposition to it into another grassroots cause celebre like the “defund ObamaCare” episode, any GOP incumbent who backs the deal will be seen as having failed the new litmus test and implicitly will have earned Cruz’s disfavor. Formal endorsements mean much, much less to voters than a candidate’s record on passing litmus tests, I think, and Cruz has almost unrivaled power at the moment in setting ideological litmus tests for his colleagues. He doesn’t need to explicitly say “Support Mitch McConnell’s challenger” when he’s going around accusing the Senate GOP — led by Mitch McConnell, of course — of having bombed its own troops in the House by making a deal to end the shutdown. The SCF’s press shop can “clarify” whom he meant by that when it runs ads against McConnell, even if Cruz doesn’t appear in them himself.

But if Cruz’s nonaggression pact with the rest of the caucus is really just a big loophole to keep attacking them, then my theory that this is a sign that he’s running is no good. A presidential candidate needs friends in Congress, the more powerful, the better; that explains 80 percent of Rand Paul’s surprisingly warm relations with McConnell, I assume. Endorsements may matter less than litmus tests but they do matter a little, and a big mass of them for one candidate versus another might matter a lot. The risk to Cruz in 2016 is that he ends up with no allies in the Senate (except maybe Mike Lee) and and no legislative achievements to point to when people question his experience because no one in the Senate outside of tea partiers much wants to partner with him. (I think Matt Lewis is right that that’s also driving Lee’s moderate-sounding rhetoric this week. He wants to get stuff passed, and you need allies in the middle to do that.) If that isolation persists and Cruz ends up locked in a RINO/conservative death match with Chris Christie, there may be a tidal wave of Christie endorsements from Republicans in Congress and that will affect some voters in the big mushy “somewhat conservative” middle. Then again, even making nice with his colleagues might not change that; centrists in Congress will break for Christie anyway, and there may be nothing Cruz can do now to convince “defund” skeptics that he’s a guy they can trust with the most important job in government. He’s gone to great effort lately to brand himself as the Senate’s most outspoken populist. Maybe the only way to leverage that is to exploit the “conservative cause” loophole to the hilt and start setting as many litmus tests as he can. If the Beltway hates him for it, so much the better. That only proves that he’s an authentic outsider.


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Hey, if Senator Cruz is the worst thing to ever happen, why would RINO senators be worried if he campaigns against them?

Dan Pet on October 31, 2013 at 4:06 PM

As if they will return the favor.

astonerii on October 31, 2013 at 4:06 PM

You would think that if he is so toxic…they would want to have him campaigning for their opponent, right?

Dan Pet on October 31, 2013 at 4:07 PM

Who said that Cruz was going to campaign against any Republican?… He is not a internet macho blogger… He knows that we need to win every possible seat we can get…

mnjg on October 31, 2013 at 4:08 PM

Ah, AP … you’re a such a naive little Eeyore.

Try to focus and then retain this message.

Who is doing what with regard to the 2016 election is just slightly less important than the color of your underwear today.

We are going to have he|| and high water between now and November 15, 2014 and all of this insider tringulation being done now, won’t mean SPIT a little over a year from now.

PolAgnostic on October 31, 2013 at 4:08 PM

I knew it was Politico before I clicked the first link…

d1carter on October 31, 2013 at 4:08 PM

So, he can keep his word like RINOs do? I’m encouraged then.

reddevil on October 31, 2013 at 4:09 PM

Ted Cruz reportedly promises Senate colleagues he won’t campaign against them

Why would he? Since when do members of congress campaign against other members of congress from their own party? No one expected Cruz to do this.

PEACE OFFERING?

No. Not campaigning against his colleagues with whom he disagrees is not a “peace offering” – only a direct endorsement from him would be a “peace offering”.

Pork-Chop on October 31, 2013 at 4:09 PM

Why would he? Since when do members of congress campaign against other members of congress from their own party? No one expected Cruz to do this.

I believe they mean in primaries. And it has happened on occasion in primaries. Though rarely.

I think it is a dumb promise to make. And, I think he should definitely campaign against some of them in primaries. Particularly his “colleagues” who have called him names, etc.

Monkeytoe on October 31, 2013 at 4:11 PM

Peace offering: Ted Cruz reportedly promises Senate colleagues he won’t campaign against them

heh, heh – but he won’t offer any support to RINO’s either…..

Not being supported by a popular conservative Senator could spell trouble for the RINO hurd who has done nothing to counter Obama or ObamaCare……by the summer of 2014 the horror of ObamaCare will be revealed in all of it’s ugly progressive glory.

RINO’s are extinct.

redguy on October 31, 2013 at 4:12 PM

The biggest issue for Ted Cruz – aside from being nothing more than a talking head in Congress….

His strong message is in-congruent – with his voice and his looks.

He is the walking-talking GOP Walter Mondale.

jake-the-goose on October 31, 2013 at 4:12 PM

Wacko Birds…

d1carter on October 31, 2013 at 4:12 PM

Cruz has also said he would not be endorsing any incumbent Senators.

commodore on October 31, 2013 at 4:12 PM

I’d love to see Cruz campaign against at least one of the RINO senators in 2014.

Wigglesworth on October 31, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Just because you are not campaigning against someone doesn’t mean that you won’t campaign for someone.

ajacksonian on October 31, 2013 at 4:17 PM

I’m talking about the primary of course.

Wigglesworth on October 31, 2013 at 4:18 PM

I believe they mean in primaries. And it has happened on occasion in primaries. Though rarely.

Monkeytoe on October 31, 2013 at 4:11 PM

It may have happened on the rare occasion, but, I can’t ever remember seeing such a thing. The GOP establishment may have wanted Cruz to do this, so that they could use t against him in some way – but I don’t think anyone really thought it would happen.

Pork-Chop on October 31, 2013 at 4:20 PM

So…Cruz campaigning against them was a concern? I like it when RINOs live in fear!

tdarrington on October 31, 2013 at 4:21 PM

Cruz is cool. If Cruz is the highest profile GOP senator who do you compare him to on the left? If he’s not the highest GOP senator, who is? And all he does is defer to the constitution when he’s asked a question. man that’s gotta burn.

DanMan on October 31, 2013 at 4:21 PM

ALL colleagues should stay out of the process- for OR against. This is the constituents’ turf.

michaelo on October 31, 2013 at 4:22 PM

I think it is better he not get involved with primaries, but I’m sure every one of his supporters will get involved for him. And I think he knows that. Let the front lines do the dirty work. His supporters are the ones with the most incentive to stop the moderates who are helping the Democrats.

Rose on October 31, 2013 at 4:23 PM

No. Not campaigning against his colleagues with whom he disagrees is not a “peace offering” – only a direct endorsement from him would be a “peace offering”.

Pork-Chop on October 31, 2013 at 4:09 PM

This. He’s already shown what needed to be shown about his “colleagues.”

de rigueur on October 31, 2013 at 4:24 PM

Primary challengers rarely succeed against sitting senators. Cruz is gong to need to work with McConnell, so it’s only smart to not tick him off.

rbj on October 31, 2013 at 4:24 PM

I think Cruz is doing exactly the right thing………..by the way I think we should quit the RINO tagline, not sure who is so pure that they don’t meet some sort RINOism of their own.

Tater Salad on October 31, 2013 at 4:27 PM

He never answers McCain and Sean Penn either.

Schadenfreude on October 31, 2013 at 4:27 PM

Leadership

Murphy9 on October 31, 2013 at 4:30 PM

The risk to Cruz in 2016 is that he ends up with no allies in the Senate (except maybe Mike Lee) and and no legislative achievements to point to when people question his experience because no one in the Senate outside of tea partiers much wants to partner with him.

We can’t make that declaration definitively until the 2014 elections can we?

fourdeucer on October 31, 2013 at 4:32 PM

If you were hoping to vote for him for president in 2016, this suggests that, yeah, he’s thinking about running.

Electing a freshman Senator with identity-politics cred and known for his talent with the spotlight rather than actual achievements? Nothing could go wrong there!

calbear on October 31, 2013 at 4:34 PM

Quite stunning how many Senators who were sent to DC by the tea party, turn out to be huge disappointments. If you really want to end business as usual as it was done by Republicans when they were in charge during the Bush years, how can you stay neutral in a primary race against then Senate Majority Whip McConnell? Or even worse: how can you endorse that guy, like Rand Paul and Marco Rubio have done? Unbelievable.

Valkyriepundit on October 31, 2013 at 4:42 PM

The gnashing of teeth is a lovely sound.

Bmore on October 31, 2013 at 4:43 PM

So Cruz makes this stupid comment public?

Since when does a sitting member of congress campaign against a fellow member?

I like Cruz, but this is really a dumb statement. And btw he’s not running for higher office.

Redford on October 31, 2013 at 4:43 PM

The risk to Cruz in 2016 is that he ends up with no allies in the Senate (except maybe Mike Lee) and and no legislative achievements to point to when people question his experience because no one in the Senate outside of tea partiers much wants to partner with him.

Buuuut… this may pave the way for Rand Paul. If Cruz does end up locked in a deathmatch with Christie, the GOP (if they’re serious about winning) may turn to Rand Paul as a moderate compromise candidate. While Rand’s not my first choice, I am convinced he is a serious small government conservative and would probably do well as president.

(a guy can dream, can’t he?)

Doomberg on October 31, 2013 at 4:43 PM

OMG RINO! Let’s primary him!!!11

datroy on October 31, 2013 at 4:45 PM

He is the walking-talking GOP Walter Mondale21st century Ronald Reagan.

jake-the-goose on October 31, 2013 at 4:12 PM

FIFY

annoyinglittletwerp on October 31, 2013 at 4:46 PM

Quite stunning how many Senators who were sent to DC by the tea party, turn out to be huge disappointments. If you really want to end business as usual as it was done by Republicans when they were in charge during the Bush years, how can you stay neutral in a primary race against then Senate Majority Whip McConnell? Or even worse: how can you endorse that guy, like Rand Paul and Marco Rubio have done? Unbelievable.

Valkyriepundit on October 31, 2013 at 4:42 PM

Everyone has a little RINO in them.

thebrokenrattle on October 31, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Finally a real Reagan Conservative.

Bmore on October 31, 2013 at 4:48 PM

Ted Cruz reportedly promises Senate colleagues he won’t campaign against them

…and then they gave his children back to him.

#hostagetakers

Fallon on October 31, 2013 at 4:48 PM

Bmore on October 31, 2013 at 4:43 PM

Yep. They will tell you whom they fear.

kingsjester on October 31, 2013 at 4:48 PM

But, what of the GOP Senators running for re-election that he doesn’t campaign for, or mention?
The dog doesn’t necessarily have to bark to say something
(Thank You, Mr. Doyle).

Another Drew on October 31, 2013 at 4:48 PM

kingsjester on October 31, 2013 at 4:48 PM

Lolz! At least they are good for something. ; )

Bmore on October 31, 2013 at 4:51 PM

Valkyriepundit on October 31, 2013 at 4:42 PM

Cruz is ‘Rino” like I’m a 22 year old Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader.

annoyinglittletwerp on October 31, 2013 at 4:51 PM

The little pie eater awaits. ; )

Bmore on October 31, 2013 at 4:51 PM

Everyone has a little RINO in them.

thebrokenrattle on October 31, 2013 at 4:47 PM

“At some point we have to stand for our prin…..my gosh, that’s a lot of money. What was I saying?”

ElectricPhase on October 31, 2013 at 4:52 PM

Cruz is ‘Rino” like I’m a 22 year old Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader.

annoyinglittletwerp on October 31, 2013 at 4:51 PM

I dont know where you get the word rino from, but certainly not from my comments. By now my opinion of the Republican Party is so low that I think we should use it as a compliment.

Valkyriepundit on October 31, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Smart move by Cruz. He will be forever associated with “defund Obamacare” but that’s not a bad thing. His job is not to lose seats but to persuade those holding those seats.
I hope he gets better at that as Rand Paul seems to be getting better at that.

Vince on October 31, 2013 at 5:02 PM

OMG RINO! Let’s primary him!!!11

datroy on October 31, 2013 at 4:45 PM

In the real world, the Tea Party does not “abandon” its icons at the first possible opportunity. Christie was still considered a Tea Partier by many as late as 2012, AFTER he’d supported things like the Ground Zero Mosque. Only when he helped Obama use the storm as a campaign event was he finally irrevocably abandoned by the right.

Likewise, no one is really calling Paul a “RINO” because he’s repeatedly proven he’s willing to get down in the ditches and fight with us when it counts despite his making nice with Mitch McConnell. Scott Walker has likewise gotten a “pass” due to his huge efforts to take on the unions in WI.

But go on, feel free to continue lying about how the Tea Party behaves.

Doomberg on October 31, 2013 at 5:10 PM

The little pie eater awaits. ; )

Bmore on October 31, 2013 at 4:51 PM

Happy Halloween, little pie eater!

Fallon on October 31, 2013 at 5:14 PM

That’s okay because Sarah’s coming!

bw222 on October 31, 2013 at 5:15 PM

calbear on October 31, 2013 at 4:34 PM

LoLz..:)

Dire Straits on October 31, 2013 at 5:16 PM

I think it is better he not get involved with primaries, but I’m sure every one of his supporters will get involved for him. And I think he knows that. Let the front lines do the dirty work. His supporters are the ones with the most incentive to stop the moderates who are helping the Democrats.

Rose on October 31, 2013 at 4:23 PM

This!

I believe Cruz saw what was done to Palin and he is doing things in a different way than she did. He’s a smart guy and politically savvy. This is a pragmatic and smart move.

Cruz/? 2016!

neyney on October 31, 2013 at 5:16 PM

Take it from me, senator: Never go full RINO.

Too late. He’s gone full RINO. Purge Him!!!!!

rukiddingme on October 31, 2013 at 5:40 PM

Yeah, but can he still raise moola against them?

Bruno Strozek on October 31, 2013 at 6:07 PM

Putting you trust in a RINO is like believing the liberals will follow the Constitution. When pigs fly.

savage24 on October 31, 2013 at 6:28 PM

A good call by Cruz.

To campaign openly against his fellow Republican Senators would be to put his enemies on Sun Tzu called “death ground” or “desperate ground.” They would have no more cause to bend to the Tea Party and have nothing to lose by waging open war against him and conservatives.

Cruz can’t win that kind of fight against the GOP…yet.

HitNRun on October 31, 2013 at 7:01 PM

If you’re wondering about this, look to Cruz’s home in Texas — filing for the Republican primary starts on Nov. 9, and there have been a couple of candidates talking about challenging incumbent John Cornyn, based on the idea that because they supported Ted Cruz over David Dewhurst in the open primary in 2012 for Kay Bailey Hutchison’s Senate seat, they would be likely to get Cruz’s endorsement in a 2013 run against Cornyn.

Leaking this information today to Politico is a not-so-subtle hint to those candidates that if they do opt for a primary run, Cruz is (at best) going to be non-committal in the campaign.

jon1979 on October 31, 2013 at 7:29 PM

He is the walking-talking GOP Walter Mondale21st century Ronald Reagan.

jake-the-goose on October 31, 2013 at 4:12 PM

FIFY

annoyinglittletwerp on October 31, 2013 at 4:46 PM

Indeed. I will assume he is at a Halloween Party now and has made a few too many trips to the punch bowl.

cableguy615 on October 31, 2013 at 9:12 PM

President Cruz!

KOOLAID2 on October 31, 2013 at 9:19 PM

So it is up to us to get rid of MC Connell. Fine with me.

Charm on October 31, 2013 at 10:40 PM

Wait. Someone actually thinks Cruz is a kingmaker or something?

The Palin fans. Their ignorance has no off switch.

Moesart on November 1, 2013 at 12:35 AM

uh …. people

why would Team Restorers need Cruz to campaign for chosen Tea Partier Challengers, to incumbent Senators who would THWART Restoration (AKA RINOs)?

That is Madame Steel Spine’s job (just like in 2010)

IMV Palin, Cruz and Demint are a Team … the 2014 cycle will involve Demint/Heritage digging up the ammo, Palin using it to lead the fight in the Heartland, Cruz using it to fight in DC

#BeClingers ———–> #AmericaRISING

#WAR ——————-> #CrushROVERandGROVER

and btw, if the 2014 ‘cleansing’ cycle is successful the DC Corrupt Bastards’ Club will be much reduced in personnel, and there will be a large number of new allies in DC for Cruz and Palin

Get out of the way of the Palin/Cruz JUGGERNAUT you Corruptocrat DC WEASELS lest U B STEAMROLLED into Ruling Class ROAD PIZZA!

exodus2011 on November 1, 2013 at 2:55 PM