Former presidential candidate and current Texas senator Ted Cruz may have committed political suicide when he refused to endorse GOP nominee Donald Trump at the RNC last week. Now, we learn that he may not even be able to hold on to his Senate seat.
Cruz’s convention speech has angered many Republicans (and even more Texans) who believed the senator could have united the fractured Republican party by supporting Trump.
Potential challenger Rick Perry, on the other hand, is viewed as a “true Texan,” having been born and raised in the Lone Star State. He served as Texas governor from 2000-2015 and has considerable support both from establishment Republicans and a grassroots league of Texans who wish to unseat the Canadian-born Cruz.
“He had an opportunity…in my opinion, to unify, probably more than anyone else in that convention, bringing people together, and I think he missed that opportunity,” says former Texas Governor Rick Perry. According to polls conducted immediately after the convention, Cruz’s favorability rating has already plummeted from 60% to 33%.
“I’m not going to come like a servile puppy dog and say, ‘Thank you very much for maligning my wife and maligning my father,’” said Cruz, referring to the “attacks” Trump made against Cruz’s family.
Trump seems unbothered by Cruz’s defiant attitude, and has predicted that Cruz “may have ruined his political career” at the RNC and “would’ve been in better shape four years from now” if he had just endorsed the party nominee.
Trump’s prediction seems to be coming true, as Texas Rep. John Carter has announced that Rick Perry will be challenging Cruz for his senate seat in 2018 – and he stands a good chance of winning.
Not only are Texas Republicans are infuriated by Cruz’s behavior during the RNC, but they have also grown disillusioned with his views on immigration and free trade. Many criticize him for ignoring his congressional responsibilities to focus on his failed presidential campaign. “The isolation [of Ted Cruz] is increasingly rapid, and it seems to me only the most fervent Ted Cruz supporters are hanging on,” says Texas Republican Carl Tepper.
Ted Cruz may have made it further than most of his GOP rivals in the presidential election, but he is surprisingly unpopular in Congress – so much so that former House Speaker John Boehner referred to him as “Lucifer.” Cruz’s political future depends heavily on winning the re-election in 2018, and his controversial behavior at the RNC has severly damaged his chances of success.
Ironically, Perry had endorsed Ted Cruz (and had even spoken out against Donald Trump) before eventually siding with the billionaire candidate.
Editor’s note: This is very preliminary maybe just in the consideration stage at this point, but it seems like such a good idea.