Cruz Backs Group Hoping to Oust McConnell, Roberts, Cochran

Image: Cruz Backs Group Hoping to Oust McConnell, Roberts, Cochran

Wednesday, 26 Feb 2014 09:23 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

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Sen. Ted Cruz has angered the GOP establishment by supporting a conservative group attempting to replace incumbent Republican senators with tea party activists in the midterm elections.

The Texas Republican has written a fundraising letters for the Madison Project, a political action committee looking to oust Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky as well as Sens. Pat Roberts of Kansas and Thad Cochran of Mississippi, according to Politico.

Cruz’s appeal comes five months after the tea party leader had declared that he would not be helping the fundraising efforts of the powerhouse right-wing group the Senate Conservatives Fund.

In his message for the Madison Project, Cruz urged donors to "pull out all the stops" to elect "solid, principled, conservative fighters" who will "not answer to the party bosses in Washington, D.C."

McConnell, a three-decade incumbent, is facing a primary challenge from tea party businessman Matt Bevin. Roberts, a three-term veteran, is up against fierce staunch right-winger Dr. Milton Wolf. Cochran, a six-term Republican, is being challenged by  conservative state Sen. Chris McDaniel in a tight race.

Although Cruz does not name any candidates he’s supporting in the primaries, he declared that the Madison Project had sought out "viable conservative candidates."

In his letter, Cruz added, "Our nation desperately needs more strong conservative fighters in the Senate … not more moderate, career politicians who will sacrifice principle and compromise with Democrats at every turn. In short, it’s time to elect some conservatives who won’t run from a fight!"

On its website, the Madison Project said the core of its mission is "to grow competition in Republican primaries against ruling-class incumbents who have grown stale and ineffective throughout their long careers in Washington."

The Madison Project has also thrown its weight behind other Senate and House candidates, including retired Air Force Col. Rob Maness in the race to unseat vulnerable Democrat Mary Landrieu in Louisiana, even though the GOP leadership believes that Rep. Bill Cassidy has a better chance of winning.

Cruz’s fundraising note came as a surprise to many established Republicans because his lack of support for the Senate Conservatives Fund appeared to indicate that he was backing off his confrontation with the GOP establishment following the backlash over his leadership role in the government shutdown last October over Obamacare.

"It does concern me when conservatives raise money to spend against other conservatives — as opposed to spending money on capturing the nine or so seats that are currently held by Democrats that we really have a great chance of winning," GOP Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri told Politico.

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