You have to love that Ted Cruz.
He gets elected to the U.S. Senate and immediately makes a name for himself — while embarrassing many of the people he purports to represent.
The Texas Republican did it again today, speaking to the Conservative Political Action Conference in which he denigrated the likes of Sens. Bob Dole and John McCain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney — all of whom ran for president but lost to Democratic opponents.
It was Cruz’s criticism of Dole that drew the most intense response from McCain.
“All of us remember President Dole, and President McCain and President Romney,” Cruz told the CPAC crowd. “Those are good men, they’re all decent men but when you don’t stand and draw a clear distinction, when you don’t stand for principle Democrats celebrate.”
McCain has demanded that Cruz apologize to Sen. Dole, the 1996 GOP presidential nominee.
“He can say what he wants to about me, he can say anything he wants to about Mitt. Mitt can take it,” McCain said. “But when he throws Bob Dole in there, I wonder if he thinks that Bob Dole stood for principle on a hilltop in Italy when he was so gravely wounded and left part of his body there fighting for our country.”
Dole responded as well, noting that he was a strong supporter of President Ronald Reagan’s agenda and declared his voting record is as conservative as it gets. Dole also worked well with Democrats, including leading liberals such as the late Sen. George McGovern — another World War II hero with whom he had a lasting friendship.
This still-new senator has some work to do to understand that he needs to respect his elders. He just might need them in his corner if he intends to run for president himself in 2016.
I’m betting he is going to be marching to his own cadence.