In a short period of time, freshman Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has proven to supporters back home and throughout the Nation that he is a shining example of an anti-establishment Republican. By following through with his campaign promises with fierce conviction, Cruz continues to gain supporters; but for his efforts, the Republican Party elite loathe the Senator.
Late last month, Foreign Policy published an article about Cruz titled “The Most Hated Man in the Senate,” which in some places reads more like a hit piece than a story about a man following through with campaign promises and holding true to his convictions. The author explains that Cruz’s Constitutional views and conservative economic ideas irritate mainstream Republicans and Democrats equally.
From the FP article:
Not surprisingly, the freshman from Texas has irritated Democrats. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Calif., described him as “arrogant” and “patronizing” after the new arrival offered the 20-year Senate veteran a lesson on the Constitution during a debate over assault weapons. He’s also been a headache for GOP leaders, expressing reluctance to back fellow Texas Republican John Cornyn for minority whip on the grounds that he had to make sure the candidate he supported would “stand and fight for conservative principles.” (National Journal ranked Cornyn as the second-most conservative member in the pre-Cruz Senate last year.)
Cruz’s alliance with Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on certain issues also earns him no points with establishment Republicans in the Senate, many of whom see the budding band of libertarian-leaning lawmakers as a liability that could fracture the Party by pushing alternative foreign, economic and social policy agendas. But the Texas Senator seems unconcerned with catering to the wishes of the GOP elite and dedicated to representing the Tea Party supporters that elected him.
“At the end of the day I was elected to represent 26 million Texans and to speak the truth. You know, I think a lot of Americans are tired of politicians in Washington in both parties who play games,” Cruz said in a recent CNN interview.
And a growing number of Americans who are far removed from the daily occurrences on Capitol Hill think Cruz is right to put his constituents first, even if it means his legislative duties are more difficult because he lacks powerful political allies.
“I think what Senator Cruz understands is that he has more to gain from adhering to his principles, staying in touch with the grass roots here and around the country than he does being friends with other senators,” Brendan Steinhauser, a leading Texas Tea Party activist who worked to get Cruz elected, told CNN. “The other senators and other folks on the House side certainly have low approval ratings across the board, and that’s kind of because of the collegiality among them and the fact that they sell out the American people to the tune of 16 trillion dollars in debt.”