"My approach is to smother them with love," has never sounded more like a serial killer's confession. pic.twitter.com/7hSwZxaRqd
— Bob Schooley (@Rschooley) December 10, 2015
Per the NYTimes, “Ted Cruz Questions Donald Trump’s ‘Judgment’ to Be President”…
… [I]nside a conference room Wednesday in a Madison Avenue office, with about 70 people pressed around a table, Mr. Cruz gave his assessment of the race, lumping Mr. Trump with another candidate whose supporters the Texas senator hopes to poach, Ben Carson.
“Both of them I like and respect,” said Mr. Cruz, according to an audio recording of his comments provided by one attendee. “I don’t believe either one of them is going to be our president.”…
On the audio, after he described the “challenging question” facing Mr. Trump and Mr. Carson, Mr. Cruz went on to explain: “So my approach, much to the frustration of the media, has been to bear hug both of them, and smother them with love.”
He added: “People run as who they are. I believe gravity will bring both of those campaigns down” and “the lion’s share of their supporters come to us.”…
Mr. Cruz, questioned about the remarks on Thursday after a speech at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, said he was “not going to comment on what I may or may not have said at a private fund-raiser.”…
— Dylan Scott (@dylanlscott) December 10, 2015
In a decent world, that audio clip would be the 2016 version of Mitt Romney’s “47 Percent” fundraiser speech, if only because listening to Ted Cruz for even five minutes is an ordeal, and not just because of his revolting politics.
Trump now has his pretext for his preferred counter-attack: Ted not being nice https://t.co/hd95VzodiS
— Jonathan Martin (@jmartNYT) December 10, 2015
Unless, apparently, one is a Talibangelical hustler drafting on Rep. Steve ‘Pig Muck” King’s slice of the electorate:
This is a Coen brothers character really, right? pic.twitter.com/w714ISOt83
— Bob Schooley (@Rschooley) December 11, 2015
… “At the end of the day, we truly believe that Ted Cruz is the most consistent and principled conservative who has the ability to not only win Iowa but I believe to win the (Republican) nomination,” Bob Vander Plaats, the president of the Family Leader, told The Des Moines Register in an interview Wednesday.
It’s a triumph for Cruz, a Texas U.S. senator whose stances on abortion, same-sex marriage, illegal immigration, religious liberty and foreign affairs align with the most hardline conservatives in Iowa — the voters who are expected to dominate the first-in-the-nation presidential vote on Feb. 1.
And it’s a blow to the other candidates who auditioned for the endorsement, including Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Carly Fiorina, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum and Lindsey Graham.
Jeb Bush and Chris Christie didn’t court Vander Plaats, a controversial figure who is a lightning rod for criticism for his belief that conservative Christian ideology should be the driving force in government.
In 2008, Vander Plaats spent a year stumping for Huckabee, a former governor of Arkansas, and at the last minute in 2012 backed Santorum, a former Pennsylvania U.S. senator. Both presidential candidates went on to win the caucuses….
And also to lose the godsdamned GOP nomination, much less the Presidency. So there’s that!
But it’s been a busy, busy week for Senator Cruz, one way and another…
Cruz: It's made up Q: So it's a conspiracy? Cruz: No, it's a liberal plot Q: The whole world is in on it? Cruz: Uh pic.twitter.com/7PJNVAQL5u
— Rebecca Leber (@rebleber) December 10, 2015
Our strategy with radical Islamic terrorism should be very simple. We win. They lose. pic.twitter.com/dQRjkpbxgA
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) December 8, 2015
ceci n'est pas une stratégie https://t.co/Nh7pRmXCdG
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) December 8, 2015
— Simon Maloy (@SimonMaloy) December 11, 2015
Political horserace tout Chris Cillizza sez Cruz is “in the catbirds seat”…
… Ted Cruz, as of today, has the most direct route to the Republican presidential nomination — assuming the past history of Republican nomination fights works as a broad predictor of where this race is headed…
1. Cruz is positioned as the most conservative candidate in the race…
In a Republican primary — particularly one in which the GOP electorate is mad as hell at everyone (including those in their own party) for an alleged lack of commitment to conservative principles — being the guy all the way on the ideological right is a very, very good thing.
2. Cruz has raised the second most money in the race…
Cruz’s money is also what separates him from other candidates who secured the “most conservative candidate in the primary” mantle. Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum both won the Iowa caucuses — more on Cruz and Iowa below — but were unable to capitalize on that win or sustain their support because they had so little money. Cruz is the best case scenario for those who want to see a movement conservative nominated — he’s of the conservative movement but has the fundraising ability of an establishment Republican…
3. Cruz is the Iowa front-runner…
Cruz has begun his ascent up the national polls at just about the right time. (The race will go into deep freeze from around next week through the beginning of 2016.) His campaign is perfectly positioned to make him the last man standing. Believe it.
— Will Jordan (@williamjordann) December 10, 2015
Branstad, establishment gov in Iowa, w broadside on Cruz re ethanol https://t.co/S1WxU27xCG
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) December 10, 2015