Reports: Cruz Angering GOP Establishment on Way to '16 Run

Friday, 01 Aug 2014 06:02 PM

By John Blosser

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Sen. Ted Cruz has his eye fixed on the White House, and he plans to undercut the established Republican House leadership to help get him there, reports say.

Cruz's latest political target, according to Breitbart, is New Hampshire Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, who he says "has voted lock-step with President Obama to prevent any efforts to finally secure our border." 

But while Shaheen's most likely opponent in the upcoming elections will be Republican Scott Brown, a former senator from Massachusetts, Cruz's choice of key state New Hampshire to make an impression says more about the lofty aspirations of the junior Republican senator from Texas that it does his opposition to Shaheen.

Cruz, an avowed tea party supporter, currently is receiving a lot of the credit, or the blame, for the failure of the GOP border bill in the House, which would have provided $659 million in funding, less than the $1.5 billion of the bill's original price tag, cut back to placate conservatives, and a lot less than the $3.7 billion President Obama was seeking to deal with the crisis of over 50,000 unaccompanied illegal immigrant minors who have flooded the Southwest border, according to the Christian Science Monitor. 

With last-minute wheedling, Cruz, who wants to cancel out Obama's 2012 executive action to defer deportation, which he has termed "amnesty," helped to persuade enough conservative legislators to defeat the House bill.

Combined with Cruz's elbowing his way in to the New Hampshire race, and planned visits to another key state, Iowa, his actions have caused the Washington Post to declare, "Ted Cruz is running for President." 

However, the Post asserts, by positioning himself well to the right of the Republican Senate and House leadership and by pushing his way into House business, Cruz has engendered the enmity of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, which could cost him come convention and election time.

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Ca., told the Monitor, "It's kind of shocking to me that some people are willing to turn their voting cards over to the Senate," and Rep. Spencer Bacchus, R-Ala., said, "The Senate doesn't tell me how to vote.

"We don't have a unicameral Congress. Our forefathers had two bodies, and they had that for a reason."

In New Hampshire, Brown's campaign ads, according to Politico, state, "Thanks to the pro-amnesty policies of President Obama and Sen. Shaheen, we have an immigration crisis on our hands. We respond with compassion, but it's time for us to secure the border once and for all." 

James Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas in Austin, told the Monitor that Cruz "has a very high visibility and he's inserting himself in this process, but I think it's as much because he has a very intelligent read of what the situation is, rather than being the origin of it."

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