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Ted Cruz, Rand Paul Take Lead in Slamming Congress

Image: Ted Cruz, Rand Paul Take Lead in Slamming Congress
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By    |   Friday, 08 May 2015 08:25 AM

Republican Party presidential candidates have long struck an anti-establishment, anti-government tone, but in the 2016 race for the White House, two senators running for the nomination are taking a particular interest in attacking Washington.

"Washington is broken. Trust me, I've seen it firsthand," Texas Sen. Ted Cruz often says, according to The New York Times.

Other times he says Washington is "profoundly broken" or "fundamentally broken."

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul launched his campaign on the slogan, "Defeat the Washington Machine."  He says Washington is "horribly broken."

In the past, lawmakers have touted their Washington experience as Bob Dole did in 1996 and Hillary Clinton did in 2008, but now they shirk it, the Times said.

"Mr. Cruz and Mr. Paul, in particular, have been running against Congress since they first ran for it," the Times said.

Dole told the Times, however, that 2016 may be the year that governors dominate presidential politics.

They have been equally vocal in their opposition to Washington.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who announced his candidacy on Tuesday, called Washington a "roach motel," and took a shot at the senators who have already thrown their hats into the ring.

"If you live off the government payroll and want to run for an office other than the one you're elected to, then have the integrity and decency to resign the one you don't want and pursue the one you decided you'd rather have."

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie took his own potshot, saying: "If I was in the Senate right now, I'd kill myself."

And Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker describes Capitol Hill as "68 square miles surrounded by reality."

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has also been vocal in distancing himself from Washington.

"I'm not a United States senator — thank God," Bush said recently, according to the Times. "I'm outside of Washington."

One expert, Thomas Mann, a congressional scholar at the Brookings Institution, told the Times that Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is the only lawmaker running for president who has embraced his role as a legislator, albeit at a political cost.

By contrast, he said, Cruz and Paul have "built their careers on attacking the institution."

Ross Baker, a political science professor at Rutgers, said that this may be the first cycle that candidates express such outright hostility to Congress.

"Previously people who ran for president were much more pragmatic in thinking about their Senate careers," he told the Times. "But the answer a lot of them have now is 'Senate be damned — I'm out of here.' "

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Republican Party presidential candidates have long struck an anti-establishment, anti-government tone, but in the 2016 race for the White House, two senators running for the nomination are taking a particular interest in attacking Washington.
congress, senate, ted cruz, rand paul, critics
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2015-25-08
Friday, 08 May 2015 08:25 AM
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