I just love hearing the stories about how Ted Cruz has always been a Washington outsider. How he has always bucked the Washington establishment – especially his own party! And when you mention how much Cruz’ fellow Senators hate him, to the Cruz followers, that is a badge of honor. And so it is with many who have grown frustrated and angry with the hapless Republican leadership, especially since the grassroots saw fit to give the GOP the House and Senate.
So anyone that bucks the “leadership” of Mitch McConnell and John Boehner and his current feckless successor Paul Ryan instantly becomes an item to all Republicans living outside the RINO pen.
And Ted Cruz has said the right things and voted against the establishment as far back as anyone remembers. Right?
Well, it depends on how far back your memory goes. If it starts on March 23, 2015, the day Ted Cruz announced his bid for President, then you would be correct. But if your memory goes back to January 21, 2013, you will have to say Cruz started out as an establishment GOP lap dog. And it was only after he decided to run for President that he suddenly embraced his current anti-Establishment positions.
Let’s go back to the beginning of 2015. Ted Cruz was just another Republican Senator that followed the party voting lines and did as he was told.
There was that time in 2013, his first year in the Senate, where he joined in on a filibuster to stop our military from killing our enemies on US soil with drones. What? Cruz would be opposed to a drone moving in on the fleeing San Bernardino terrorists and blasting them to Allah? Yep. It is hard to figure, but Cruz was trying to find his way to Senate stardom. Unfortunately, this wasn’t it. And even Rand Paul, who also spoke against drone use to kill terrorists in the US admitted it wasn’t going to do anything. Ultimately he would be shut down. And he was.
And then there was the Obamacare filibuster later in 2013. With absolutely no hope success, Cruz spoke for 21 hours and Obamacare was fully funded anyway. But at least Cruz established himself as long winded. And a sucker for lost causes. But it played well to the Conservatives.
But with only those two exceptions, Ted Cruz was an establishment lackey until he decided to run for president.
“But he votes against his own party,” you say! Well, that is true but only since announcing his presidential bid. Before that, Cruz was as establishment as it gets.
So between January 2013 and March 2015 Ted Cruz voted with the GOP 84% of the time. (Source OpenCongress.org) And for comparison, Lindsey Graham, who is just about as establishment as you can get only votes the party line 79% of the time. So from 2013 until he announced his bid for president, Ted Cruz voting record marks him as more of an establishment Republican than Lindsey Graham.
But Ted Cruz has undergone a metamorphosis since March 23, 2015. He has been solidly against the Establishment voting against the party line 46% of the time.
This is simply stunning and shows why Cruz is not the Conservative anti-Establishment “outsider” he is now claiming to be. Nor is he the staunch Conservative he is pretending to be, either. This graph is proof that Cruz has made a conscious effort to remold himself to fit the demographic that was untapped by the expected GOP presidential field in March 2015.
There was a decided absence of Conservatives and Evangelicals in the race, especially after Utah Senator Mike Lee announced in late January that he would not run for President. That opened the gate for a solid Conservative and someone to tap the evangelical vote. And the country had grown sick of the lack of ability of Republican establishment types to get anything done. And another Washington insider wasn’t going to stand out. But Cruz voting record was anything but “outsider” in March 2015.
But since becoming a presidential candidate, Cruz has tried very hard to reinvent himself as a Conservative. He has voted against the party 46% of the time and on July 24, 2015 he went into a rant on the Senate floor actually calling Majority Leader McConnell a liar. Yes, McConnell is a liar and Cruz was correct. But why did he wait until he was running for President to speak up? McConnell has been a liar as long as anyone can remember. He has stabbed Republicans and Conservatives in the back so many times we have lost count. He was probably worse at caving in and lying about it when he was Minority Leader.
So why July 24?
When Cruz entered the race on March 23, his “bump” in the polls saw him rise to 16%. But in mid to late June 2015 his numbers began to seriously decline. Scott Walker was drawing interest as were a couple of others at that time. Cruz went as low as 3%. So on July 24, 2015, he called McConnell a liar and his numbers rose after that to 10% by mid August before they started back down. By September 24, 2015 his numbers were down to 5% again.
And that is when he decided to filibuster Obamacare. So was the move anti Obamacare? Or pro Ted Cruz? I believe the latter. It set the Conservatives hearts into a collective pitter-patter and his numbers began to rise again back into the double digits he was longing for. Ted Cruz managed to fool a lot of people. And as other potential Conservative or conservative-ish candidates began to fizzle, and Carson and Trump were sucking the air out of the race, Cruz little attention gimmick did what he planned. It took some attention off of Trump and as Carson went into freefall, some landed on Cruz.
And now Cruz is laying claim to the “outsider” label as the guy who bucks the Washington establishment. Except that he only became that “guy” after putting his finger in the air and reinventing himself.
Cruz is not the life long anti-Establishment candidate his followers pretend he is. And want him to be. He is a a guy that is too slick by half that has maneuvered himself into contention by reinventing himself and fooling his supporters. The entire Cruz persona is a carefully manipulated facade designed to pull in voters who fall for his deception.
Cruz is willing to do anything to win. And his record and the timeline show he is not who his supporters think he is. He is a carefully crafted manipulator who is very good at the art of deception.
Follow the polls. Follow his votes. Follow the timeline. And you will see that the Ted Cruz you think you see is nothing but a mirage.
A very dangerous mirage.