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Cruz Looking for Allies Among GOP Establishment

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By    |   Wednesday, 06 Apr 2016 10:44 AM

Sen. Ted Cruz is reportedly looking for allies among the "Washington cartel" he often criticizes, hoping to broaden support as he girds for a possible convention floor fight against GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump.

His decisive win in the Wisconsin primary Tuesday may help to do just that, Politico reports.

"We're in a situation where we're trying to galvanize Republicans behind us," Cruz communications director Alice Stewart tells Politico.

Former Texas GOP Sen. Phil Gramm is leading the outreach to Congress on behalf of the fiery conservative, and has talked to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Whip John Cornyn, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling, Politico reports.

"With Cruz we can win the election, hold the Senate," he tells the website. "I think with Trump we almost certainly lose the Senate, lose the election for president, even lose the House."

But Cruz's relationship with his fellow U.S. senators has been contentious. In July, he accused Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of telling a "flat out lie."

And in February, Sen. Lindsey Graham said Cruz is so despised in the Senate that no one in the Senate would look to convict his murderer.

"If you kill Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial is at the Senate, no one will convict you," he said.

On Wednesday's "Morning Joe" on MSNBC, host Joe Scarborough went off on Cruz as widely "loathed" in Washington, by voters, and with his own party.

"Right now, the guy is loathed, and he is loathed inside D.C.," Scarborough said on his "Morning Joe" program.   "I mean, I know a lot of the establishment hates Donald Trump, but Ted Cruz is the devil they know and they don't like him. He won't win the nomination.

Utah Sen. Mike Lee — whose endorsement, along with that of South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, are the only ones for Cruz in the Senate — tells Politico most colleagues no longer hold a grudge against Cruz.

|"I hope and expect a lot of them will end up endorsing Sen. Cruz," Lee tells Politico. "It hasn't happened yet … but I do think it's going to be coming. A lot of them have some real concerns with Mr. Trump. That resonates. And for that reason I think most of them will come around."

Cruz is also making his pitch to colleagues, including conservative Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina and Sen. Steve Daines of Montana, Politico reports.

Graham, meanwhile, is on the road for Cruz.

"When people ask me why I did what I did, I say' it's important. Clearly Ted was not my first choice by any means, but we are in a position now as a party that we've got to pick a path.'" Graham tells Politico.

"The Trump path to me is a disaster."

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Sen. Ted Cruz is reportedly looking for allies among the Washington cartel he often criticizes, hoping to broaden support as he girds for a possible convention floor fight against GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump.
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2016-44-06
Wednesday, 06 Apr 2016 10:44 AM
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