Cruz Wins in Texas as the GOP Establishment Cracks

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Johnny Hanson / Houston Chronicle / AP

U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz speaks to a cheerful crowd after he defeated Republican rival, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in a runoff election for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by retiring Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison on July 31, 2012, in Houston.

Thirty years ago, it was said Texas Republicans were so few that they met in a phone booth. These days, a Roman amphitheater might be a more suitable venue. The colossal $45 million GOP U.S. Senate primary battle that culminated with a runoff Tuesday night between Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Tea Party darling Ted Cruz turned Austin upside down. With much of the establishment lining up behind Dewhurst, Cruz won the runoff by 13 points, trouncing the powerful lieutenant governor who had the backing of Gov. Rick Perry and a large number of elected state Republicans.

Cruz’s victory has been cast by some in the media as a major win for the Tea Party, but this was not a race cut from the same cloth a as the Richard Mourdock victory over longtime U.S. Senator Dick Lugar in Indiana. There the former state treasurer and Tea Party favorite took down a moderate Republican. Cruz himself adopted that narrative in a Monday appearance on Fox News. “This race has been called ground zero in the national battle between the moderate establishment desperately clinging to power and the conservative tidal wave sweeping this country,” he said.

Tea party activists and their umbrella group FreedomWorks played an important role in Cruz’s victory. But in reality, there was not a dime’s worth of difference between Cruz and Dewhurst on the vast majority of issues, although they spent millions trying to persuade voters otherwise. Their philosophical similarities got lost in a tidal wave of money that funded countless ads from both sides and reduced the race to name-calling and worse.

Even in Austin, where most Republicans are out-of-town legislators, the ad wars raged as Dewhurst painted Cruz as a “Washington lawyer” who helped the Chinese steal from American business and who was being supported by “Washington insiders,” a euphemism for the conservative Club for Growth. Eager to prove his conservative chops, the lieutenant governor strode along the Texas border, dressed in a cowboy hat and jeans, calling out the feds for failing to protect Texas from illegal drugs, Asian immigrants and mayhem. He evoked his military service and his time in the CIA. Plus, he rolled out an impressive list of state senators, among them some of Texas’ most conservative politicians, as evidence of his credentials — of course, as their powerful presiding officer, they were beholden to him.

On the last day of campaigning, Dewhurst opted for a morning visit to an Austin Chick-fil-A drive-in for a breakfast sandwich and a photo op, all mixed in with a message about his opposition to gay marriage. It came hot on the heels of Cruz’s own Chick-fil-A moment over the weekend — Sarah Palin had left a Cruz rally near Houston and snapped up some chicken sandwiches, then tweeted a photograph of herself and husband Todd with the Chick-fil-A bags in hand. Cruz had Palin and U.S. Senator Jim DeMint, while Dewhurst had former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee on his side.

As veteran political reporter Ross Ramsey wrote earlier this week in the Texas Tribune, the pundits had it wrong. This was not a battle between a moderate and a conservative, a la Mourdock and Lugar, but a fight between the establishment and a newcomer who in all likelihood, according to U.S. Senator John Cornyn of Texas, would both vote the same way in the Senate. In ads, Cruz had called Dewhurst a moderate and a “big spending, tax raising” politician, but the lieutenant governor had further proof of his conservative stripes in the form of an endorsement and campaign trail help from Gov. Perry.

Perry, who climbed on the Tea Party train early, not only gave his support to Dewhurst, but also some of his political infrastructure, including consultant Dave Carney. The governor “is now the big loser,” wrote Paul Burka, longtime political analyst at Texas Monthly. “I think his political career may be over.” The counting of the votes had not yet been completed when Republican Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson announced he would run for lieutenant governor in 2014 whether Dewhurst, who retains the powerful post, runs or not. The party solidarity that had helped bring Republicans to power in Texas has cracked.

“Texas Republicans dominate their state as thoroughly and completely as any party in the nation,” Cal Jillson, political scientist at Southern Methodist University says. “Republicans hold all 29 state wide elective offices and two-to-one majorities over the Democrats in the congressional delegation and both houses of the state legislature.” But Jillson adds there is something “surreal” about the Republican dominance. “The Republicans are essentially an Anglo party in a state in which the Anglo share of the population is shrinking and in which minorities already constitute a majority.”

Cruz has been cast as another Marco Rubio. Like the Florida senator, he is Cuban-American, a conservative with great communication skills, young – just 41 – and an effective campaigner. Like Rubio, it has been suggested he could be a potential draw to Hispanic voters, a notion that has yet to be tested, given the fact that the vast majority of Hispanics in Texas vote for Democrats. But among his early supporters was a young man intent on bringing Hispanic voters into the GOP fold — George P. Bush, grandson to the elder former President, nephew to the younger, and co-founder of Hispanic Republicans of Texas. Bush’s backing of Cruz is evidence, Burka says, that “he has inherited good political antennae” and that he has fast-tracked his own statewide political ambitions.

Cruz’s victory came on a day when the Democrats announced another up and coming Texas Hispanic star, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, will be a keynote speaker at their national convention. So far, in Texas, neither party has produced a winning statewide top-of-the ticket Hispanic. However, given the current Republican dominance in Texas, Cruz’s victory is likely to lead to the GOP reaching that point first this fall. Meanwhile, the Lone Star GOP Establishment is cracking.

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enip
enip

And he replaced Kay Bailey Hutchinson,nothing to see here.

NicHautamaki
NicHautamaki

The monster is killing Dr Frankenstein one district at a time.  This is what happens when you put winning at all costs before the general welfare of the nation.  Great job, GOP.

3xfire3
3xfire3

Cruz Wins in Texas as the GOP Establishment Cracks

Yes just like they cracked in Florida and now Rubio is one of the most popular republicans in the country.

Cruz will follow in Rubio's footsteps and that is great for the Republican Party and bad for the democrats.

Liberals will spin it in a negative way but their spin means nothing. Hispanic values fit in with republicans and not with liberals and long term they will move strongly towards the republicans.

Liberal values or lack of values just doesn’t fit in with Hispanic’s strong family and religious values.

Good job Cruz. We love you.

 

RealityBitesU
RealityBitesU

This clown can be beat in the general election. Medicare "unconstitutional"? Wants to abolish medicare? I am starting to wonder how much voter fraud the Republicans and Rove are doing on a regular basis in order to keep winning elections.

3xfire3
3xfire3

"This clown can be beat in the general election."

Ha, ha, ha, ha. The ignorance of the wacko left is truly amazing.

RealityBitesU
RealityBitesU

 Intelligent Republicans are being turned off by the corrupt whackos in the "conservative" arm of the party. No senior is going to vote for someone who wants to take away their medicare.  The only thing that concerns me is the  Republicans "won" (read 'stole') the Presidency in Florida in 2000 through voter fraud and in Ohio in 2004 again through voter fraud. They can only prevail again through more voter fraud. 3xfire3 - you should care more about honesty and your country.

RealityBitesU
RealityBitesU

The following posting here is an advertisement linking to Amazon and apparently placing cookies onto your computer. I hope CNN can do something about this person:

SycophantBastard http://goo.gl/Mu2ZH

Like

Reply 17 hours ago

gysgt213
gysgt213

Texas: Republican voters in a state already fiery red with anti-government conviction served notice on their own candidates Tuesday night that ideology trumps experience. With some exceptions around the state, the GOP victors were the true believers, not the elected officials with a record of governing, no matter how conservative..

The marquee triumph of tea party insurgent Ted Cruzover establishment favorite David Dewhurst was, to some degree, the victory of a dynamic candidate and speaker over a maladroit campaigner, but even more it was the victory of an impassioned movement leader over an elected official burdened with the experience of governing and negotiating on occasion with the enemy. Cruz, never having held elective office, had no record to defend beyond his experience as a corporate lawyer..

Dewhurst touted himself as the most conservative lieutenant governor in Texas history, but it was not enough. In the view of Cruz's tea party faithful, he had consorted with compromise during his 14 years in office - nine running a state Senate with a history of bipartisan comity - and, thus, was tainted..

http://www.chron.com/news/poli...

Gary
Gary

Ted Cruz' single largest donor, Peter Thiel of San Francisco, is openly gay and supports same-sex marriage. Thiel donated to Cruz $251,000 in 2009 and recently donated $5,000 for Cruz' Senate primary. He is also the largest single donor to the group backing Cruz - the Club for Growth Action super PAC giving them $1 million in May. Cruz is deceiving Texans about his alliances while claiming to be a Tea Party Republican. It seems that Sarah Palin should have done more homework about Ted before endorsing him, if she is truly opposed to homosexuality. She chased the spotlight at a Chick-fil-a for face time and Cruz bought their fried chicken to serve at one of his latest fund raisers. Seems to me they are both working overtime fleecing the teabaggers' votes and money.

formerlyjamesm
formerlyjamesm

Just a thought, but the great TP victory in electing Scott Brown proved to be a disappointment to them for his lack of complete and utter stupidity.  Could Cruz exhibit some integrity as well?  I know, Massachusetts isn't Texas. Just wishful thinking.

vstillwell
vstillwell

I wish people would see the Tea Party for what it really is. It's a bunch of baby boomers who are out to protect their own medicare and social security by taking those same programs away from future generations. A bunch of spineless old people lead by some younger ones who will say anything to get an ounce of power and notoriety. Then you mix in some christian conservatives and, viola, you have a tea party.

formerlyjamesm
formerlyjamesm

As a baby boomer myself, I must express some reservation with your summation.  The TPers cover a range of ages and demographics.  Lets just say they are all idiots and leave it at that.

Benevolent Lawyer
Benevolent Lawyer

I am going to type a post that might appear xenophobic BUT it is not. *I am clothe in metal garments, so the rocks that will be thrown at me by those angered by this remark,   with make no impact* :(

I do not think anyone that has dual citizenship should be elected to political office. It just seems so stupid. Canadians should run for office in Canada and Americans in America.

You cannot have divided loyalties because it makes no sense. And yes, its a proactive position to avoid conflict.  Sometimes, you wonder why some of these immigration laws are made. What is the point of dual citizenship. I mean, really.

Somehow, I have a feeling I might have just turned in my "well traveled and civilized" card. So I dwell with the boors in their dark unthinking cave.  So what? But what I aver is weighty.  Whats up with the dual stuff????? It is plain idiotic.

http://blackrepublicanandmywor... 

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

“This race has been called ground zero in the national battle between the moderate establishment desperately clinging to power and the conservative tidal wave sweeping this country,” he said.

He soon perceived that I disliked the subject; but not guessing the real cause, he attributed my feelings to modesty, and changed the subject from my improvement, to the science itself, with a desire, as I evidently saw, of drawing me out. What could I do? He meant to please, and he tormented me. I felt as if he had placed carefully, one by one, in my view those instruments which were to be afterwards used in putting me to a slow and cruel death. I writhed under his words, yet dared not exhibit the pain I felt.

--Mary Shelly

MrObvious
MrObvious

So the crazy eat their owns and ignore that a majority of the population think that the political divide is destroying this country. And this is a savior? If anything it'll simply hasten the fraction of GOP as people start looking for solutions - not the same lazy 'gov is the problem' mantra.

formerlyjamesm
formerlyjamesm

It's another piece of TP furniture to sit and not govern in the Senate.  The Senator from the Great State of Texas, Sandbag Cruz.

deanrd
deanrd

That's the guy who says Medicare is "unconstitutional".  Wow, and Republicans vote for him????  Their average age is in their 60's and they want to elect a man who wants them destitute?  I guess it's part of that policy of "let them die".

Sue_N.
Sue_N.

You're not actually expecting wingers to think things through, are you? That's so … liberal.

21Palms
21Palms

So I'm guessing that if Medicare is actually unconstitutional you'd prefer to continue along that path rather than producing a policy and plan that is constitutional?

 

formerlyjamesm
formerlyjamesm

There has been no stipulation that Medicare is unconstitutional.  Other than in what is assumed to be right wing minds of late.  Medicare is almost 50 years old and was put through the same ringer as the ACA.  The right wing is full of slobbering grave diggers.

LoudRambler
LoudRambler

  This guy was born in Canada, and probably has Canadian citizenship - true to the birther story, I won't believe that he revoked his unless I see papers from Government of Canada saying so.

 Conveniently, a lot of tea party types who try to kill any attempt of public healthcare in US have a passport stashed somewhere that ientitles them to one in some other country.

formerlyjamesm
formerlyjamesm

Until we see the documents, we can only assume that he was spawned in Cuba and is an illegal alien. If we follow the right wing program, we will continue to assume that whatever documentation is produced.  He is a Castro Commie unwittingly being planted by the TPs.  

paulejb
paulejb

deanrd,

Unconstitutional or not, Medicare is unsustainable.

"WHAT CAN'T CONTINUE, WON'T."

jsfox
jsfox

Actually this isn't true, but you already knew that didn't you. Medicare is very sustainable.

Sue_N.
Sue_N.

Like Rubio, it has been suggested he could be a potential draw to Hispanic voters

Really? How? This is the man who campaigned on his role in executing a Mexican national without giving the man recourse to his consulate in defiance of treaty obligations under the Geneva Conventions. Even North Korea has honored this treaty.

He also believes Medicaid is unconstitutional.

Yeah, Hispanics are gonna rush to this guy.

formerlyjamesm
formerlyjamesm

Rubio and Cruz are a different breed of Hispanic than Texas Hispanic, or for that matter, US Hispanics other than the fascist species found in Miami.

paulejb
paulejb

Sue_N,

A rapist and murderer of a teenage girl is executed in Texas and liberal sympathy is with the murdering rapist. Interesting sensibilities these people have.

Sue_N.
Sue_N.

No, you  idiot, the "liberal sympathy" is with following the law. Even Dubya tried to make Cruz, Perry and Co. honor that treaty, flaming liberal that he is.

As I said, even North Korea abided by the treaty when it held two American journalists in 2009. Imagine the uproar if it hadn't.

Imagine the uproar from wingers like you if Mexico executed an American citizen without giving him or her recourse to the American consulate.

But, hey, you wingers love a double standard.

Hollywooddeed
Hollywooddeed

Perhaps some people have actually given some thought to state-sponsored murder and realize that it makes us no better or different than the criminal you referenced above.

Paulie, btw, I thought you were pro-life.

formerlyjamesm
formerlyjamesm

Pro-lifers are executioners after the birth event.

Sue_N.
Sue_N.

He's pro-fetus. Once the kid's outta the womb, it's just another little moocher.

MrObvious
MrObvious

He's a pre-birth pro-lifer. Post-birth you're screwed.

Sue_N.
Sue_N.

Like Rubio, it has been suggested he could be a potential draw to Hispanic voters

Really? How? This is the man who campaigned on his role in executing a Mexican national without giving the man recourse to his consulate, in defiance of treaty obligations under the Geneva Conventions. Even North Korea has honored this treaty.

He also believes Medicaid is unconstitutional.

Yeah, Hispanics are gonna flock to this guy.

Sue_N.
Sue_N.

Like Rubio, it has been suggested he could be a potential draw to Hispanic voters

Really? How? This is the man who campaigned on his role in executing a Mexican national without giving the condemned man recourse to his consulate in defiance of treaty obligations under the Geneva Conventions. Even North Korea has honored the treaty.

Yeah, Hispanics will just flock to this guy.

gysgt213
gysgt213

If I was U.S. Senator John Cornyn I would be watching my back. 

formerlyjamesm
formerlyjamesm

Yeah.  Can't be far right enough in Texas these days.  The whole pack of right wing Texas Republicans are in the sights of the TP it appears.

smooth edward
smooth edward

The Tea Party takeover of the Republican Party continues………...

21Palms
21Palms

Can't happen fast enough for my taste...

jsfox
jsfox

Yes I am enjoying watching the Tea Party turn the Republicans into the Know Nothings because we all know (dumb typo fixed) what  happened to them.

21Palms
21Palms

Another product of public education? 

outsider2011
outsider2011

 Yes, i agree. The quicker the TP kills the GOP the better off the US will be.

sacredh
sacredh

Cruz for President! 2016.

Sue_N.
Sue_N.

Don't make me come up there and smack you.

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

He may like that, Sue.  IJS.

Sue_N.
Sue_N.

True. I had to stop using that threat against my husband, too.

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

...of the United State of Texas?