They have asked themselves and each other how the candidate who began his political career as an unwavering “constitutional conservative” could allow himself to fall in line with Trump’s fraudulent and delusional election challenge; how the man they once viewed as deeply principled has been so willing to behave so cravenly. When Cruz first ran for the Senate in 2011, he boasted about fighting against the Bush administration in court as Texas’s solicitor general to make clear his willingness to stand up to politicians from either party when they violated the Constitution…

Amanda Carpenter, a former Cruz aide in his Senate office, told Intelligencer: “the biggest conversation I’ve had with fellow Cruz supporters is, ‘Was he always this way or did he change?’” Carpenter, who has become a vocal Trump critic, said she “could have never imagined that he could have gone down this road” and that she could have never envisioned that the political career of a legal scholar with a reverence for the Constitution would “culminate in a stand to potentially cancel votes in a way that defied any standards of federalism and constitutionalism.”…

In conversations with former Cruz aides, it was suggested Cruz’s objections were motivated by one thing and one thing only, the desire to outflank Senator Josh Hawley in the 2024 Republican presidential primary for the Trump base. As one former senior White House official put it, “Ted for sure thought that Hawley had jumped the line, like, ‘How dare you!’” After all, Cruz’s presidential ambitions have long been a topic of discussion among his alumni. “We’ve all talked about 2024, it never left the discussion,” said a former aide. ”From the moment he dropped out of the race [in 2016], the organization was building for 2020. Now, none of us are certain where the path is to 2024.”