Ted Cruz’s presidential ambitions have been mortally wounded.
That’s the view of Texas Monthly blogger Erica Grieder, who thinks the Texas Republican’s endorsement of GOP presidential nominee Donald J. Trump has done far more harm than good — for Cruz.
Cruz had, since the GOP convention, stood on the principle that Trump is not to be trusted, that he’s “amoral,” that he’s a narcissist, that he is a “serial philanderer,” that he is a “con man.”
Now he’s acceptable to Cruz.
Is he acceptable to Cruz’s substantial conservative base of voters who still cannot stomach Donald Trump even though their guy — Cruz — now seems to find the nominee worthy of his endorsement?
Grieder notes that Cruz wants to be president. He ran hard for the GOP nomination. He developed a substantial following among the GOP’s more conservative base of voters. He told GOP convention attendees to “vote your conscience” this fall. Now he’s tell them to vote for Trump.
Mixed message? Do you think?
As Grieder writes: “First, both of the reasons Cruz gave for his decision, in a statement he posted on Facebook Friday afternoon—that he signed a pledge and that Hillary Clinton is unacceptable—are demonstrably ridiculous. Even if you agree that Clinton is more ‘unacceptable’ than Trump, and that a pledge made to the Republican National Committee should take precedence over one’s oath of office and one’s repeated promises to work for the 27 million people of Texas, it remains the case that Cruz signed the pledge last year and could have known, months ago, that Clinton would be the Democratic nominee.”
Cruz figured to have a potentially stout Republican challenge when he runs for re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2018. Now, with his endorsement of Trump — who once stood for everything that Cruz detested — the challenge well might come from the TEA party wing of the GOP.
These are the folks who now feel betrayed by their one-time golden boy, Sen. Cruz.
If Ted Cruz cannot survive a challenge to his Senate seat in two years, well … the presidency is certain to vanish before the senator’s eyes.