There is no question that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is basing the votes that he calls — including on the Build Back Better Act — on the possibility that Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., will challenge him in the 2022 New York primary election, Sen. Kevin Cramer said Sunday.
''In addition to that, we have a White House tugging at him, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi,'' the North Dakota Republican told Fox News' ''Sunday Morning Futures'' guest host Larry Kudlow. ''Chuck Schumer has people pulling and pushing and tugging from every possible direction, and I am sure that he is wondering what direction to go.''
He added that Schumer, D-N.Y., may also see that there are many Democratic senators who believe they have to vote for the Build Back Better Act but would not have were they not up for reelection.
There are also senators who will find a way to vote on the bill, but it could ''lead to their political demise,'' Cramer said.
''In my mind, what has become such a great tragedy is that a once-great Democratic Party has become this bizarre socialist agenda, where they seem to be putting all the chips on the table this year [because] they have control of the House and the Senate and the White House.''
However, Sen. Joe Manchin of West.Virginia, the lone Democratic holdout, ''may very well save the Democratic Party,'' Cramer said.
The senator also looked ahead to the 2024 presidential race, including comments from Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who has said, according to Kudlow, that he would consider another try for the White House ''in a heartbeat'' and that historically, the runner-up in one party's presidential convention becomes the nominee in another.
''The tradition over the decades of the Republican Party is the presidential nominees' options are to be the heir apparent, such as Bob Dole, George Bush or whatnot,'' Cramer agreed, ''but Donald Trump sort of blew up that whole system when he became the nominee and then our president of the United States.''
Cramer said he's ''not so sure'' the tradition of the heir apparent won't be restored, and that he ''would be shocked'' if Cruz does not run again. He also said he thinks former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo might be ''a great president someday.''
''We have the richness in our party of having a bench of modern, talented people with all the right credentials that can lead this country and a great way,'' Cramer said.
''Let's not forget that Donald Trump could make another run and if he does, I suspect there would be a pretty good chance he would be the nominee. Good for Ted Cruz, I think he ought to be in the game, but there ought to be a lot of others as well, I am sure.''
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