“There’s not a lot of love lost for the guy”

Many of those who knock Cruz cite the same origins of their antipathy: Cruz is a grandstander, they say, who trashes fellow Republicans for his own gain. Once an admirer of John G. Roberts Jr., he now criticizes the chief justice — and Bush too, the president who appointed Roberts. He unsuccessfully tried to stop passage of a spending bill last year, forcing a series of weekend votes. He pointedly refused to endorse Cornyn in a primary race two years ago — a breach of Senate etiquette.

“There’s not a lot of love lost for the guy,” said Josh Holmes, a former chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.). “And it’ s not what he’s trying to accomplish or what he says he’s trying to accomplish that bothers people,” Holmes added. “It’s that he’s consistently sacrificed the mutual goals of many for his personal enhancement.”…

“He plays into the frustrations and passions of good people,” said Graham, another rival for the Republican presidential nomination, “and creates narratives that don’t exist at the expense of others. I don’t think that’s leadership. I think that’s demagoguery.”…

“It’s a classic show-horse-versus-workhorse dynamic,” said John Hart, former communications director for Coburn. “It’s putting his own political ambition ahead of the interests of the country, and I hope voters see through it.”