Ted Cruz embraces Trump ahead of re-election

Up for a second Senate term in Texas this year, "Lyin' Ted" Cruz, as President Donald Trump nicknamed him, is suddenl...

Posted: Feb 23, 2018 9:40 AM
Updated: Feb 23, 2018 9:40 AM

Up for a second Senate term in Texas this year, "Lyin' Ted" Cruz, as President Donald Trump nicknamed him, is suddenly Trump's biggest fan.

Faced with a potentially tough re-election battle against Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke, Cruz has used recent public appearances -- including a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday -- to embrace Trump, stake out hard-line positions in debates over gun control and immigration, and antagonize Democrats.

On Thursday, he even invoked "The Simpsons."

"The Democrats are the party of Lisa Simpson," Cruz said of the know-it-all character. "And Republicans are happily the party of Homer, Bart, Maggie and Marge."

Cruz's moves underscore his view of the upcoming midterm elections as a duel of the party's bases -- and whichever turns out more of its voters wins.

That means turning out Trump's supporters.

The senator Trump had once called "Lyin' Ted" on Thursday heaped praise on the President's first year in office.

"On substance, the record of delivering has been remarkable," he said.

He also embraced Trump's opposition to stricter gun laws, accusing Democrats of politicizing the issue after the mass shooting last week at a high school in Parkland, Florida -- as well as the President's call to arm teachers.

"Every time you see a horrific crime, people in the media and Democratic politicians immediately try to leap on it to advance their agenda, and their agenda is stripping Second Amendment rights from law-abiding citizens," Cruz said, adding that confiscating guns is "where they want to end up."

"I think it makes perfect sense that if teachers want to exercise their right to keep and bear arms, it will only make schools safer," he said.

It all sounds like something of a 180-degree turn for Cruz, who used his speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention to urge Americans to vote their consciences -- effectively extending permission to break with the party's presidential nominee.

Cruz has had Trump's back outside the Washington area as well.

In Dallas last weekend, Cruz aligned himself with Trump on special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, saying investigators had found no evidence of collusion, an inaccurate claim with the investigation still underway.

"On the face of these indictments, they say that the American side of it was unwitting -- that there was not collusion. That's pretty significant," he told reporters.

Cruz has also staked out ground to the right of Trump on some issues.

He pleased immigration hard-liners this month by casting the Senate's lone vote against opening a debate on three competing bills that would give "Dreamers" a path to legal status, all of which were voted down.

Cruz's moves could even come at the risk of his future presidential prospects: He angered Iowa Republicans by blocking Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey for a federal agriculture post, citing ethanol regulations that he says harm oil refineries.

The Iowa Republican Party's central committee approved a resolution urging Cruz to withdraw his hold on Northey's nomination. State GOP chairman Jeff Kaufmann sent Cruz a letter warning that should he "wish to remain in good standing with Iowa Republicans," he must release his hold on Northey and "end the political points he is attempting to gain in an election year."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 749097

Reported Deaths: 13745
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1030271775
Lake554211006
Allen41613691
St. Joseph36933564
Hamilton36505416
Elkhart29347459
Tippecanoe22849225
Vanderburgh22540400
Porter19313325
Johnson18386387
Hendricks17583317
Clark13190193
Madison13111344
Vigo12602253
LaPorte12385221
Monroe12152175
Delaware10947197
Howard10250225
Kosciusko9609119
Hancock8541144
Bartholomew8158157
Warrick7854156
Floyd7763180
Grant7227179
Wayne7154201
Boone6911103
Morgan6735141
Dubois6211118
Marshall6205116
Cass5989108
Henry5893108
Dearborn588878
Noble579786
Jackson508374
Shelby500697
Lawrence4727121
Gibson444093
Harrison440473
Clinton439855
DeKalb438585
Montgomery433890
Whitley405642
Huntington402181
Steuben398659
Miami392568
Jasper386254
Knox375690
Putnam371860
Wabash360583
Ripley346470
Adams344955
Jefferson335685
White329753
Daviess3028100
Wells294881
Decatur289992
Greene286385
Fayette284664
Posey273735
LaGrange272872
Scott269855
Clay265448
Randolph244683
Washington244534
Jennings235149
Spencer234131
Starke227558
Fountain218347
Sullivan213943
Owen210858
Fulton201542
Jay200832
Carroll193420
Orange188055
Perry186937
Rush175626
Vermillion173544
Franklin170135
Tipton165746
Parke148916
Pike137934
Blackford136032
Pulaski120047
Newton112636
Brown103943
Crawford102316
Benton100814
Martin91415
Warren83515
Switzerland8098
Union72810
Ohio57811
Unassigned0421

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1106796

Reported Deaths: 20091
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1284601459
Cuyahoga1155792204
Hamilton812751245
Montgomery524631040
Summit48327999
Lucas43289817
Butler38886603
Stark33275929
Lorain25631502
Warren24554303
Mahoning22327601
Lake21133385
Clermont20095252
Delaware18815135
Licking16643222
Fairfield16552204
Trumbull16520479
Medina15592270
Greene15246246
Clark14216306
Wood13276197
Portage13226214
Allen11904239
Richland11596211
Miami10832223
Wayne9112222
Columbiana9016230
Muskingum8889135
Pickaway8646122
Marion8633138
Tuscarawas8633247
Erie8049164
Ashtabula7136179
Hancock6995131
Ross6932161
Geauga6831150
Scioto6525104
Belmont6148174
Union583549
Lawrence5722102
Jefferson5669158
Huron5539122
Sandusky5433125
Darke5414129
Seneca5342126
Washington5307109
Athens523360
Auglaize501587
Mercer487385
Shelby476195
Knox4567112
Madison443665
Ashland435097
Putnam4333103
Fulton431871
Defiance431798
Crawford4031110
Brown401861
Logan387177
Preble3847103
Clinton378166
Ottawa372581
Highland359165
Williams347578
Champaign343558
Guernsey324153
Jackson317254
Perry297150
Morrow291240
Fayette285450
Hardin274865
Henry273267
Holmes2697101
Coshocton268359
Van Wert247264
Adams242856
Pike242735
Gallia240450
Wyandot234556
Hocking220062
Carroll196648
Paulding176342
Meigs148240
Monroe136144
Noble135739
Harrison113638
Morgan109624
Vinton85417
Unassigned03
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