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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: 590211

Reported Deaths: 9310
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion815581297
Lake44306666
Allen31919541
Hamilton28371304
St. Joseph26766371
Elkhart24098341
Vanderburgh18643213
Tippecanoe17422121
Johnson14496284
Porter14399160
Hendricks13870241
Madison10561212
Vigo10483171
Clark10240130
Monroe9076108
Delaware8836132
LaPorte8771155
Howard7897138
Kosciusko787277
Warrick643890
Hancock638797
Bartholomew626694
Floyd6150105
Wayne5933157
Grant5818110
Dubois544372
Boone534367
Morgan516291
Marshall494184
Henry493664
Cass471760
Noble460557
Dearborn458444
Jackson414745
Shelby402179
Lawrence380575
Clinton364539
Gibson356556
DeKalb337363
Montgomery334851
Harrison328542
Knox327839
Miami309843
Steuben306340
Adams295235
Whitley294125
Wabash293045
Ripley292345
Putnam284847
Huntington283557
Jasper282433
White267538
Daviess261672
Jefferson250738
Fayette242348
Decatur242182
Greene233360
Posey232326
Wells229447
LaGrange224161
Clay217932
Scott216937
Randolph208340
Jennings192535
Sullivan189031
Spencer181917
Fountain179725
Washington177118
Starke171341
Jay162821
Owen159537
Fulton159229
Carroll152115
Orange151433
Rush149918
Perry147227
Vermillion144933
Franklin143433
Parke12908
Tipton128232
Pike113625
Blackford107522
Pulaski95237
Newton89421
Brown85530
Benton84310
Crawford7579
Martin70013
Warren6587
Switzerland6205
Union6113
Ohio4677
Unassigned0374

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 826754

Reported Deaths: 10200
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin97493705
Cuyahoga821781012
Hamilton61350439
Montgomery41700399
Summit33399726
Lucas30111597
Butler29721228
Stark24811400
Warren18917139
Lorain18086212
Mahoning16758335
Lake15365135
Clermont15160104
Delaware1382177
Licking12679132
Trumbull12401302
Fairfield1218480
Greene11631133
Medina11128165
Clark10608264
Wood9964154
Allen9511126
Portage8867105
Miami886573
Richland8790116
Marion7319113
Tuscarawas7142174
Columbiana7085124
Pickaway702850
Wayne6781164
Muskingum671242
Erie5886118
Hancock537890
Ross530287
Scioto519662
Geauga483555
Darke457589
Ashtabula439068
Lawrence432651
Union430628
Mercer424287
Sandusky421862
Seneca413555
Auglaize412759
Huron410338
Shelby410221
Jefferson403366
Belmont395640
Washington372040
Putnam364672
Athens36369
Madison339329
Knox336522
Ashland331738
Fulton325943
Defiance319278
Crawford313268
Preble311534
Brown296619
Logan292729
Ottawa282134
Clinton279043
Williams270166
Highland262418
Jackson256943
Guernsey241725
Champaign240927
Fayette225529
Morrow22294
Perry221318
Holmes218662
Henry210247
Hardin204133
Coshocton197420
Van Wert196644
Gallia190926
Wyandot190549
Adams165615
Pike164116
Hocking163423
Carroll149516
Paulding139021
Noble117840
Meigs103221
Monroe95629
Harrison8568
Morgan79128
Vinton67113
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