Ted Cruz, Shunned in the Senate, Plays Unpopularity to His Advantage

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Cruz to Rubio: ‘Stop making silly assertions’.

“Marco Rubio was part of the Gang of Eight trying to secure amnesty and wishes he wasn’t. Senators have been wondering all week about the massive tax-and-spending bill — not so much whether it would pass, but whether Ted Cruz would keep them in town into Christmas week with stall tactics he’s used before.

More than any other issue, immigration is driving the rivalry between Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, presidential rivals focusing on the divisive topic in their closing messages to Republican voters before the sprint to the Iowa caucuses. Trump’s fitness for the presidency, which his aides believe is setting him apart from the sprawling field just as voters begin to make up their minds in early voting states. Ted Cruz on Thursday was forced once again to defend his record on immigration, saying his amendment to the 2013 reform effort called the “bluff” of those backing the legislation. “I introduced an amendment that made anyone here illegally permanently ineligible for citizenship.

Cruz, a Texas senator and tea party firebrand, sees Rubio’s support for a more forgiving immigration policy as his greatest vulnerability among conservatives who overwhelmingly oppose a pathway to citizenship for immigrants in the country illegally. Rubio — a member of a bipartisan group of senators who pushed for comprehensive immigration reform in 2013, though he later disowned the legislation — tried to tie Cruz’s stance to his. “As far as Ted’s record, I’m always puzzled by his attack on this issue. His decision three years ago to join a bipartisan effort to reform the nation’s immigration system and give undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship — or “amnesty,” as anti-immigration advocates see it — continues to engender deep suspicion among hard-line conservatives.

That amendment called their bluff,” Cruz told reporters gathered in Las Vegas on Thursday. “What they were interested in, what Chuck Schumer and Barack Obama wanted, was very simple: They wanted millions of new Democratic voters,” he went on to say. “There’s a reason why I think the new politically correct term is no longer illegal aliens; it’s now undocumented Democrats.” Cruz has been on the defensive since rival Marco Rubio turned his own vulnerability on immigration into an attack on the Texas senator. But on Thursday afternoon, as Cruz and Rubio were out on the campaign trail railing against Congress’ massive tax and spending deal, GOP leaders were moving swiftly to evade conservative opposition to the bill. Around 1 p.m., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) strode to the floor to lock in a voting agreement for Friday that will give dissenters little time to speak and no way to stall the package absent a full-scale rebellion against McConnell.

Ted Cruz of Texas made sure to remind viewers that Rubio’s former negotiating partners in the immigration reform effort included some of the GOP’s most hated enemies. “There was a time for choosing, as (Ronald) Reagan put it,” Cruz said. “Where there was a battle over amnesty, some chose, like Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), have lost their last chance before voting starts in the presidential primaries to take a stand against the Washington culture they say they despise. I oppose legalization,” Cruz said. “I always have and I always will, and I challenge every other Republican candidate to say the same thing or, if not, to stop making silly assertions that their records and my records on immigration are the same. Once the bill’s leading salesman, Rubio distanced himself from his own plan as the presidential contest neared, suggesting it was a mistake to push for comprehensive legislation. Bush. “There are others on that stage who don’t agree with what Trump says or how he says it, but don’t have the guts to lay a glove on the guy for fear of antagonizing his supporters and incurring his wrath.

You’re gonna have to do it and prove to people that it’s working.” “Rubio’s participation in the (bill) is seen by many Tea Party activists as the original sin. But I guess I usually don’t use those tactics unless I have a specific reason in mind,” said Sessions, who nonetheless hates the omnibus for not instituting more restrictive refugee policies. “I don’t think I could go that far. Bush released a new ad, “Tough Enough,” that opens with the words, “One candidate tough enough to take on the bully,” before cutting to an exchange between Mr. But he added, “Senator Rubio has an impressive conservative record in the Senate, laying out detailed plans for tax reform and fighting to stop the Obamacare bailout. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), who missed attending a “Nutcracker” performance with her daughter last year after a conservative revolt against the bill derisively called the CRomnibus. “Senators are realizing that in a body of 100 that operates by unanimous consent, you have to learn to play well together or nobody gets anything done,” said Sen.

This election is going to come down to, ‘Who is the most complete conservative?’ There is an argument to be made for Senator Rubio, but this is a very competitive field, so it’s not going to be easy for anyone.” Roger Stone, a former adviser to GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump, announced Thursday that his super PAC will soon begin running ads against Rubio. Bush plans to make New Hampshire, the first primary state, his second home as the holidays approach, and to spend more than half his time there in the seven weeks before the Feb. 9 primary.

Still, Washington leaders on both sides of the Capitol had braced for the surging Cruz in particular to seize the stage of the Senate and muck up their plans. Rubio or any other candidate running to make that same statement, to be clear where they stand.” Cruz has previously supported broadening legal immigration in some cases. Cruz, who voted against the immigration bill and spoke against it on the Senate floor, shot back that Rubio was trying to “muddy the water” to give himself cover for an unpopular position. ““For Marco to suggest our record’s the same is like suggesting the fireman and the arsonist have the same record because they’re both at the scene of the fire,” Cruz said. They passed a stopgap bill this week funding the government to Dec. 22, more than enough time to prevent Cruz from shutting down the government even if he had performed a lengthy talking filibuster. The problem, according to senators and senior aides, is that Rubio and Cruz were not there to object to McConnell in person and could not get a fellow senator to register the objection on their behalf.

Bush, who is on a fund-raising swing out West, will head to New Hampshire on Saturday for a breakneck day of five town-hall-style events, starting in the morning in Contoocook and ending in Nashua after nightfall. Whether leadership was seeking to evade Rubio and Cruz’s objections or whether their skeleton Capitol Hill staffs simply missed their moment is in dispute. Cruz supporter and Las Vegas resident Bob Jacobsen, 85, linked illegal immigration to terrorism, noting that he and his son bought guns for the first time two days earlier to protect their family from violent extremists. And staff members for the super PAC supporting him, Right to Rise, have already knocked on more than 12,000 doors there, using tablets to update voters’ information. Steve King (R-Iowa), who has endorsed Cruz. “If their voices came together in opposition to this, at least it would send a strong message to America.” And for senators not running for president and still in the Capitol, leaders were able to smooth over any objections by merely pointing to the calendar. “You heard of this thing called Christmas?” Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) said. “Everyone realizes the futility of stringing this thing out … any single senator could have blocked it, but they chose not to.”

Bush to stand out as “the one that’s standing up for the party and the country,” his campaign’s communications director, Tim Miller, said on a private conference call with donors after the debate. (Mr. Christie has gained traction in New Hampshire — using his personal, tough-talking style to land the endorsement of The New Hampshire Union Leader, an influential newspaper — and Mr. This fall, they worried about being able to fill rooms and began sending out invitations to “friendraisers,” fund-raisers where the campaign waived the donation required to attend. One solicitation in October, in Greenwich, Conn., read, “I want you to come as my guest, no charge,” before concluding, “The important thing is that you come!” But Bush supporters and donors are a loyal group.

There have been some high spots in fund-raising, according to the campaign: a half-million-dollar haul in Michigan in October; $350,000 in Dallas and a quarter-million in New York in November; and $325,000 in Miami in early December, on the eve of a Bush donor retreat there.

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