Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, a presidential candidate, lashed out at his fellow senator and rival for the presidency, Sen Ted Cruz, R-Texas on Tuesday, according to Roll Call. Paul suggested that Cruz is “pretty much done for in the Senate” due to his often fiery rhetoric calling into question the honor of Senate Republican leaders such as Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky. Cruz has not been happy with what he sees as nefarious behavior by McConnell and others over spending bills and other issues.
Paul’s real reason for his disquiet over Cruz may be due to the fact that the Texas senator is snapping up support from former backers of his father, former Rep. Ron Paul, according to the Washington Examiner. Paul’s presidential campaign has never gotten totally off the ground, with his polling remaining in the low single digits. One of Paul’s super PACs has suspended fundraising for the candidate, suggesting that he has strayed too far from his libertarian principles.
Hot Air speculates that Paul will be the next candidate to drop out of the presidential race. If so, he would concentrate on his effort to win reelection to the Senate. It, therefore, makes sense that he would turn on his fellow tea party senator in support of McConnell. McConnell, as the senior senator from Kentucky as well as majority leader, would be invaluable for making Paul’s reelection happen.
Cruz, for his part, may not care that his bellicose rhetoric has lost him friends in the Senate. He doesn’t plan to stick around the upper body. Cruz plans to be president of the United States. In that context, his calling out the Senate leadership plays well to disaffected voters in the Republican base.