Whenever the two major candidates for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Republican Ted Cruz meet in a joint appearance, I am hoping whoever questions them will ask Cruz a critical question about his relationship with Donald John Trump Sr.
If it were me, I would ask him: Senator, you once called Donald Trump a pathological liar; you called him amoral; you called him gutless coward. How is it that you now welcome him to Texas to campaign for you? How do you justify this remarkable change in attitude toward a man you seemed to loathe when you both were campaigning for the GOP nomination in 2016?
If given a chance for a follow up, I might ask him to explain the president’s loathsome comments about Cruz: You took them personally, senator. Do you no longer feel the intense anger you expressed in the moment?
I also am thinking that Cruz’s opponent, Democrat Beto O’Rourke, is likely to ask the incumbent a lot of questions along those lines himself.
OK, I know what many of you are thinking. This isn’t new. Political foes for many years have buried the hatchet. Team of rivals, anyone?
- Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton campaigned against each other in 2008; they said some incredibly mean things about each other. Obama got nominated, then elected and selected Clinton to be secretary of state.
- Obama also ran hard and aggressively against Sen. Joe Biden in 2008 and then named Biden as his vice presidential running mate.
- Sens. John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson didn’t care for each other when they ran for the Democratic nomination in 1960. Then they teamed up and won the election.
That was then. The here and now presents another set of questions.
Trump disparaged Cruz’s father, suggesting he might have been complicit in JFK’s murder; he ridiculed the senator’s wife, Heidi. He called Cruz “Lyin’ Ted.”
Sen. Cruz’s response to all of that was intense and seemingly visceral anger — and justifiably so.
But … the men have let bygones be bygones. Yes?
I am left to wonder what it takes for a politician to tell us what they really think. I also have to wonder if Cruz’s outrage was feigned or was it for real.
As for the president, well, I don’t believe a single thing that flies out of his mouth.