Ted Cruz’s associates insist he’s returning to the Senate as the same uncompromising, hell-bent conservative he’s always been. But one thing is different, and it’s glaring: The senator who made enemies with fellow Republican senators and bragged about it to voters now wants to play nice — or at least his version of nice — with his colleagues.
And the first step to improving his rancorous relationships, the Texas senator’s allies say, will be to help them keep their Senate seats. The freshman senator wants to return to the campaign trail this fall as a conservative surrogate for Republicans aiming to turn out the GOP base, they say.
“That can go a long way toward establishing good relationships,” said a senior Cruz adviser. “At the same time, though, I’d be wildly surprised if he suddenly started moderating his principles just to get along.”
Cruz’s political team is still determining how much Cruz will get involved in down-ballot elections and where he would go to campaign. But according to interviews with more than a half-dozen of Cruz’s friends, aides and allies, he wants to be engaged this fall on behalf of his GOP colleagues and hopefully to get some them to reciprocate the goodwill.
|LINK: Larry Sabato's 2016 Senate Ratings Map|
Cruz’s advisers say his second-place finish in the race for the GOP nomination and proven ability to turn out conservatives make him a valuable asset for Republicans in tough races. National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) said he expects Cruz to play a major role in the battle for Senate control this fall.
“I think politicians are practical people,” said the senior Cruz adviser. “They’re going to be pretty interested in the kind of support he can give them. ... I think fewer people would say they don’t want him now.”
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), facing a stiff reelection challenge from Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, noted that Cruz’s campaign manager, Jeff Roe, is from the state.
“He had a lot of Missouri supporters,” Blunt, after a long pause, said of Cruz. “I’d be glad to have him in the state.”
Sens. Johnny Isakson of Georgia and John Boozman of Arkansas, both up for reelection in conservative territory, also said they'd be happy to have Cruz on the trail with them. ...Read the Full story HERE.
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