2016 Presidential Race Opinions

Ted Cruz Challenges Trump to Debate

Cruz Trump

Ted Cruz Again Throws Another “Friend” Under the Bus

by Josh Guckert

For months, Ted Cruz has refused to take any shots at Donald Trump, claiming that the media and Establishment’s “only hope” is to have the two in a “cage match.”

Cruz retorted to such suggestions as recently as December by Tweeting that he would forego such an opportunity because Trump “is terrific” paired with the hashtag “deal with it.”

With Iowa approaching and polls tightening between the two Republicans, Ted Cruz has changed his mind on that “cage match.” In fact, he has now challenged “Ducking Donald” (a hashtag he has used to describe Trump alongside a picture of Scrooge McDuck with Trump’s face) to a one-on-one debate.

The challenge was made while he has been in the middle of an ad campaign criticizing Trump’s “New York Values,” a controversial line which Cruz uttered in the last debate.

The two have had a strong relationship throughout the campaign thus far, even at one point appearing together to protest the Obama Administration’s Iran deal. While Trump suggested that he could pick Cruz as his running mate, Cruz’s reasons for the alliance appeared to be more self-centered. Cruz appeared to believe that he could ride Trump’s coattails until his popularity waned, when then the Texas Senator could capitalize and co-opt his supporters.

However, this scenario for Cruz has not played out as planned. Trump has instead begun attacking Cruz on various issues, including the latter’s birth in Canada. Unfortunately for Cruz, while he has been doing well in Iowa and looks like a good candidate to win there, his momentum does not seem to be present nationally or in any other states.

All of these circumstances have led Cruz to do to Trump what he did to the few remaining “friends” he had in the Senate, including Rand Paul and Mike Lee.

The quiet feud between Cruz and Paul has become very interesting in liberty circles, likely beginning in 2012 when Senator Paul and his father, Ron Paul, gave their endorsements to him. These endorsements were used as a weapon in Ted Cruz’s ad “Liberty Leaders for Cruz,” which featured one-time Ron Paul supporters who are now Ted Cruz supporters. Included in the video is one supporter who stated that Cruz “picked up the mantle of Ron Paul.”

Adding to that theme, Cruz (in a debate featuring Senator Paul) lauded his own support for Ron Paul’s Audit the Fed bill (a bill which he could not be bothered to take off time from the campaign to vote for).

Most telling, when Rand Paul began a feud of sorts with Donald Trump, Cruz refrained from “sticking up” for his Senate colleague. While often heaping praise upon the New York billionaire, he never once gave credence to Paul’s claims on Trump concerning eminent domain and other past support for authoritarian positions.

As for another Cruz Senate “friend,” Mike Lee has worked for many months on criminal justice reform. However, as the 2016 has approached, Lee was shocked when Ted Cruz joined alongside Tom Cotton to defeat his measure, excoriating it as “dangerous and politically poisonous.” According to reports, the mild-mannered Lee “could not believe what he was hearing.”

With all of this in mind, should anyone be surprised that Cruz has had a change of opinion on Donald Trump? Just like with his other peers, Cruz only had a use for Trump when it appeared that the businessman could be of some selfish use for Cruz. Now that it appears that Trump has worn out his usefulness, Cruz has decided to discard Trump just like all of the others. What will be the result of Cruz’s change of heart?

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