Anyway, as I was thinking about this comparison, I thought it would be a good idea to pose the question to a few former and current senators, staffers and others who worked with or knew all three men. Let’s just say people tend to see Sen. Cruz as something of an original. The reaction I got surprised me. To the person, the very idea that I would compare Sen. Cruz to either Sen. Helms or President Reagan drew an angry blast. The depth of the hostility toward Cruz surprised me. Every Republican I spoke with reminded me that Sen .Helms — while at times obstinate — was always gracious and above board. They talked about how Helms was a great gentlemen, colleague and a candid advocate who would never blindside his colleagues or let disagreements become personal. All this was said about Sen. Helms in a way that suggested these qualities were in contrast to their views of Sen. Cruz.
And when it came to the question of whether or not Cruz had Reaganesque qualities, the very idea that I would broach that comparison was greeted with a sneer and a suggestion that I had lost my mind.
So, to sum up the reaction I got when asking if Sen. Cruz was more like Sen. Helms or President Reagan, the answer from those who knew both was “neither” and the answer was often punctuated with a dropped jaw, rolled eyes and a generally aggravated demeanor. Suffice it to say, the response was vicious.