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Sens. Rubio and Paul grapple with a hurricane named Ted (political consultants "share")
The Hill ^ | October 23, 2013 | Alexander Bolton

Posted on 10/23/2013 4:47:39 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife

Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) are seeking to stay relevant in the debate over ObamaCare, but they might as well be shouting in a hurricane.

A hurricane named Ted.

During this month’s fiscal standoff, Sen. Ted Cruz attracted the most attention of any possible White House hopeful on Capitol Hill.

GOP strategists say Cruz, a freshman Republican from Texas, has seized the role of Tea Party standard-bearer, giving him an edge with conservative activists.

The grassroots army Cruz built over the last few months could help him in Iowa and other primary battlegrounds if he decides to run for president in 2016.

“If the caucuses were held today, he would lap the field,” said Steve Deace, a nationally syndicated radio host based in Iowa. “I think it would be a bigger win than [former Arkansas Gov. Mike] Huckabee had in 2008. It would be more than 9 points.”

Republican critics of Cruz privately say the outspoken senator could never win a general election, especially against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a top mention for the Democratic ticket.

A recent Associated Press-GfK survey found that about half of the respondents were familiar with Cruz; 16 percent viewed him favorably, 32 percent unfavorably. Among Tea Party Republicans, Cruz’s numbers are remarkable — 74 percent favorable and 8 percent unfavorable, according to a Pew poll.

Cruz’s peak in popularity with the GOP base coincides with a trip he has planned to Iowa this weekend.

He will be the keynote speaker at the annual Reagan Dinner in downtown Des Moines on Friday and then go pheasant hunting with Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) on Saturday.

Rubio on Tuesday unveiled a proposal to delay ObamaCare’s individual mandate until the administration solves the digital infrastructure problems plaguing the rollout of the new healthcare law.

His plan is a twist on a House GOP proposal to delay the individual mandate for one year in exchange for funding the federal government.

“It’s unfair to punish people for not purchasing a product that they can’t purchase right now because the technology that’s in place, the website they’re supposed to buy it on — by the president’s own admission — is not working,” Rubio said in a CBS interview Tuesday.

Paul is pushing another wrinkle on the House bill delaying the individual mandate, which included language barring congressional lawmakers and staff from receiving federal subsidies through the insurance exchanges.

The Kentucky senator on Monday touted a constitutional amendment stating that Congress “shall make no law applicable to a citizen of the United States that is not equally applicable to Congress.”

“There’s no question that in the last three or four weeks of shutdown debate that Sens. Rubio and Paul were far overshadowed by Ted Cruz,” said John Ullyot, a Republican strategist and former Senate aide. “If Sens. Rubio and Paul have aspirations for 2016, they need to play catch-up.”

Rubio’s defenders say the Florida conservative is closely allied with Cruz, supporting him on the floor during his 21-hour speech protesting ObamaCare and voting against the bipartisan deal to open the government and raise the debt ceiling.

One Senate aide familiar with the behind-the-scenes activity said Rubio “was much more involved than Paul” but “obviously not at the level of Cruz and [Sen. Mike] Lee [R-Utah].”

Paul was in a tough position because he has forged a political alliance with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), who has since panned Cruz’s strategy as a failure for the GOP.

Now Paul has to worry about the repercussions in battleground states that could determine the GOP’s presidential nominee in 2016.An aide to Paul denied any political motivations behind his constitutional amendment.

“The intent of the amendment is as succinct and concise as its text: hold government officials to the same standards as the American people,” said the staffer.

Deace, who has many contacts among conservative operatives in Iowa, which will host the first contest of the 2016 primary, says Paul has lost supporters to Cruz.

“I know lots of liberty people who have switched to Cruz,” he said. “The story right now isn’t the kinds of inroads Paul can make with evangelicals. It’s how many libertarians he’ll lose to Ted Cruz.”

Paul’s reluctance to square off directly against McConnell threatens to become a liability among some conservative activists.

“They’re looking at him covering for Mitch McConnell, and they’re like, ‘I thought we were going to fight a revolution here. I thought we were here to take the party over,’ ” Deace said.

While Paul has endorsed McConnell for reelection, Cruz has not.

Cruz, meanwhile, is a big hit with conservative media personalities. Radio talk show host Mark Levin repeatedly lauded Cruz during the shutdown, and Fox News’s Sean Hannity this week said, “I want more Ted Cruzes elected.”

Earlier this month, Cruz won an overwhelming victory in the presidential straw poll at the 2013 Values Voter Summit, garnering 42 percent support. Paul finished in fourth place with 6 percent of the vote, and Rubio finished fifth with 5 percent.

GOP strategists say Paul’s push for a constitutional amendment to ensure equal treatment of ordinary Americans and Washington’s elites resonates with conservative activists who have grown resentful of what they see as the nation’s ruling class.

Chip Saltsman, a Republican strategist who managed Huckabee’s 2008 presidential campaign, praised Rubio’s proposal as one that could win support among independents.

“I think it’s smart politics. With the Rubio bill, you have a chance for the White House to support it,” Saltsman quipped, noting that more Democrats could support a delay in the individual mandate if glitches with ObamaCare’s website are not fixed soon.

He also praised Paul’s proposed amendment.

“It’s always a winning issue among conservative folks when you put Congress in the same bracket as regular folks,” he said.

Saltsman said that while Rubio’s and Paul’s political advisers might feel pressure to play catch-up with Cruz, they shouldn’t get too aggressive.

“Do I think some of the people in their political shops are thinking that way? Yes. Do they need to be doing that for the 2016 prism? No,” he said. “It’s a mistake to get too far out in front far too early.

Cruz’s strategy to halt the implementation of ObamaCare is not winning rave reviews in all primary states, however.

“He’s certainly not done himself any favors,” said Bob McAlister, a GOP strategist who worked in South Carolina on George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign and Sen. John

McCain’s (R-Ariz.) 2008 campaign. “Not having a strategy except to give in and have your political butt handed to you by an unpopular president doesn’t seem to be a winning strategy.”

McAlister praised Rubio for offering a plan to link the individual mandate to the functionality of the Affordable Care Act’s infrastructure.

“It does seem wise for Republicans to get behind a message that not only the die-hard Republican voters but the independent voters can understand,” he said.

“We need to treat individuals as major corporations on this issue,” he said, making reference to the administration’s delay in the employer mandate.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Government; Politics/Elections; US: Florida; US: Kentucky; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: advice; consultants; cruz; cruzobamacare; florida; kentucky; marcorubio; politics; randpaul; rubio; tedcruz; texas
Funny how advice from political consultants (strategists) isn't worth a bucket of warm spit, even when they charge for it.

They'd sign on to promote any candidate with money in their pocket.

They're doing auditions.

1 posted on 10/23/2013 4:47:39 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Republican critics [Rove,et al] of Cruz privately say the outspoken senator could never win a general election ...

... advice from political consultants (strategists)[TokyoRove and minions] isn't worth a bucket of warm spit ...

Damn straight. Ted Cruz can't win a general election they tell us ... after shoving McCain and Romney down our throats because they could?!

EPIC FAIL. The gopE political consultants/strategists should all be politically unemployed permanently.

2 posted on 10/23/2013 5:02:35 AM PDT by Servant of the Cross (the Truth will set you free)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Cruz is popular because his message is straight down the line.

He isn’t seeking amnesty like Paul and Rubio, and he isn’t letting anyone back him off.


3 posted on 10/23/2013 5:07:41 AM PDT by Venturer (Keep Obama and you aint seen nothing yet.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
I think the point that everyone is missing (or ignoring) is that all of them went to DC to change things, and they're not going to agree on everything. They're going to make some mistakes. The important thing is that they leave Rove and all the other has-beens out of the equation.

What I'm interested in is who stood with Cruz and Lee during Cruz's 21 hours. Rubio and RandPaul both did. If anything, Rand's not always 100% in agreement questions seemed to increase Cruz's intellectual spark.

This is what bright people do. They bring up ideas, discuss them, "try them on for size". What they don't do is draw conclusions meant to appease people who might put up roadblocks or have their own agendae.

4 posted on 10/23/2013 5:12:02 AM PDT by grania
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To: Venturer

People who want to match wits with Ted Cruz should realize that he is a brilliant tactician. It’s a God-given gift.


5 posted on 10/23/2013 5:14:44 AM PDT by txrefugee
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Re reading this article and it hits me how out of touch the Republican strategist have become over the last few elections. Most of the GOP consultants are cowardly whiners slithering around the halls of congress.

This is the group conservatives NEEDS to go after.

As to Paul and Rubio they need to spend a weekend fishing with some regular folks.


6 posted on 10/23/2013 5:18:50 AM PDT by rrrod (at home in Medellin Colombia)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Republican critics of Cruz privately say the outspoken senator could never win a general election, especially against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a top mention for the Democratic ticket.”

So what?

Is this their tired argument for nominating Dole/McCain/Romney?


7 posted on 10/23/2013 5:20:58 AM PDT by ConservativeDude
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To: txrefugee

People who want to match wits with Ted Cruz should realize that he is a brilliant tactician. It’s a God-given gift.”

Even more than that, is his apparent complete fearlessness, his energy and his tenacity. Like nothing in my lifetime. There’s no one even close. Maybe Thatcher, but not really. Cruz is just unique.

Or as you correctly note, it is all God-given.


8 posted on 10/23/2013 5:25:43 AM PDT by ConservativeDude
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To: ConservativeDude

“Republican critics of Cruz privately say the outspoken senator could never win a general election, especially against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a top mention for the Democratic ticket.”

Reagan was viewed similarly in the mid 1970’s, and took the brunt of vicious attacks from the GOPe of that day.


9 posted on 10/23/2013 5:26:12 AM PDT by BlueStateRightist
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To: grania
The important thing is that they leave Rove, and all the other has-beens, out of the equation.

Amen to that. RNC Chair Rancid Priebus should get his walking papers, as well.

=================================================

After the Romney debacle, Fox ditched Rove and Dick Morris for calling the election dead wrong. Rove somehow snuck back in---and is still a perennial on Fox talk shows.

Thankfully, Fox finally untethered Bill "The Smirker" Kristol---a McCrazy suckup----who bases all HIS predictions on his neocon pals' marching orders.

10 posted on 10/23/2013 5:27:05 AM PDT by Liz
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To: txrefugee

One thing is sure he doesn’t mind revealing his college scores——unlike a certain Kenyan we might mention.


11 posted on 10/23/2013 5:37:25 AM PDT by Venturer (Keep Obama and you aint seen nothing yet.)
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To: All
Paul was in a tough position because he has forged a political alliance with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), who has since panned Cruz’s strategy as a failure for the GOP.

Now Paul has to worry about the repercussions in battleground states that could determine the GOP’s presidential nominee in 2016.An aide to Paul denied any political motivations behind his constitutional amendment.

“The intent of the amendment is as succinct and concise as its text: hold government officials to the same standards as the American people,” said the staffer.

Where can we go to get $2B paid to our personal account?

12 posted on 10/23/2013 5:40:54 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

The FEAR among RATS ad RINOS is palpable. Cruz isn’t even running yet—but the knives are out already. Ted Cruz scares these people CRAZY.


13 posted on 10/23/2013 5:51:07 AM PDT by SC_Pete
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To: Venturer
Cruz is popular because his message is straight down the line.

I would add that American recognize a man of principles and he saying what America needs to hear right now in a clear concise message.

14 posted on 10/23/2013 5:58:35 AM PDT by verga (Si hoc legere scis, nimium eruditionis)
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To: SC_Pete; All

Sen. Rand Paul has endorsed fellow Kentuckian - Senate Minority Leader and senior Sen. Mitch McConnell.

Sen. Ted Cruz, though asked several times, has not endorsed fellow Texan - Senate Republican Whip and senior Sen. John Cornyn.

This says something.


15 posted on 10/23/2013 5:59:12 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife; Alissa; SunshinesStormySummerSon; Whenifhow; calex59; carjic; WilliamRobert; ...

Ted Cruz Ping!

If you want on/off this ping list, please let me know.

Please beware, this is a high-volume ping list!


16 posted on 10/23/2013 7:48:15 AM PDT by SoConPubbie (Mitt and Obama: They're the same poison, just a different potency)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Memo to Ted Cruz: When everyone is sniping at you you are the front runner.


17 posted on 10/23/2013 8:06:06 AM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: Georgia Girl 2

If I were Ted I would text zero one item per day that I intend to repeal or rollback, and talk about Constitutional Conventions.


18 posted on 10/23/2013 8:20:38 AM PDT by txhurl ('The DOG ate my homework. That homework, too. ALL my homework. OK?' - POSHITUS)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

I wouldn’t have Bob McAlister anywhere near me, nor a microphone. He is a big time loser! He doesn’t know a “conservative” when he sees one....and avoids any semblance of sensibility.

Senator Cruz is popular with “conservative activists” because he is like us, unlike, Ran Paul and Marco
Rubio.


19 posted on 10/23/2013 8:47:13 AM PDT by jch10 ("Normandy was closed when we got there too!")
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
He will be the keynote speaker at the annual Reagan Dinner in downtown Des Moines on Friday and then go pheasant hunting with Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) on Saturday.

AWESOME! My two biggest heroes currently serving! My congresscritter and Senator Ted! I gave what I could to King and I'll give what I can to Ted. Screw the rest!

20 posted on 10/23/2013 9:14:18 AM PDT by HeartlandOfAmerica (Obama&Admin=An army of deer, led by a lion is more to be feared than an army of lions led by a deer)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Given the opportunity, I would vote for Cruz, Palin and/or Lee. They each speak for me, they have my support. Period.

Cruz - 2016


21 posted on 10/23/2013 9:22:58 AM PDT by Gator113
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To: Servant of the Cross

I would rather go down swinging, than to go with another McLame.


22 posted on 10/23/2013 9:33:01 AM PDT by erod (I'm a Chicagoan till Chicago ends...)
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To: Gator113

I could not agree more. Palin/Cruz Or Cruz/Palin whatever they work out would be fine with me.


23 posted on 10/23/2013 12:06:42 PM PDT by carjic (Fed up!)
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