Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is working to appeal beyond his conservative base, as Democrats have made strides to turn Texas purple, according to Fox News, but he says he is not abandoning his conservative principles.
"The media caricature of me as a right-wing bomb-thrower has never been accurate," Sen. Cruz told Fox News. "I am conservative. I care deeply about conservative principles. I care deeply about the Constitution. And in each of these instances, I am working to advance policies that I have long defended, and long advocated for."
Sen. Cruz was responding to questions about his recent efforts to work with progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., on areas of agreement and opposing Tennessee's annual day to honor Nathan Bedford Forrest Day. Forrest was a Confederate general who was a slave trader and had ties to the Ku Klux Klan.
"I do think it's intentional," GOP consultant Brendan Steinhauser told Fox News. ". . . He understands, like we all understand, that Texas is changing."
Texas, once a deep-red state, has become more moderate, if not purple, according to Sen. John Cornyn, warning against Republicans resting assured of victory against Democrats and not working hard enough to raise campaign funding.
"I've always been willing to work with anybody: Republican, Democratic, Independent, Libertarian," Sen. Cruz told Fox News. "Heck, I've joked I'd work with Martians if we're advancing good and positive policies."
Steinhauser is advocating for a tweak of the Republican hardline in the now-evolving Texas.
"Don't change your principles, don't change your policy positions, but maybe lead with certain issues, change your tone a little bit, talk about certain things a little more, talk about other things a little less," Steinhauser told Fox News.
"And I think [Cruz] is doing the right thing."
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