A rising conservative star after just a few months in the Senate, Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) is reportedly mulling a presidential bid.
Friends of the senator tell National Review that he's been listening to enthusiastic supporters and discussing the possible campaign with associates. “We all see a path, and he does, too,” one former colleague tells the magazine.
There's no big surprise here. Conservatives have been buzzing about a potential Cruz candidacy for a while. And while he's new to the Senate, by 2015 he will have spent as much time there as Barack Obama did before launching his first White House campaign. It's already clear that he has no particular love for Congress; last weekend he called some of his Republican colleagues "squishes." He might appeal to primary voters who don't like the immigration plan of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a fellow Cuban American and likely candidate. Sarah Palin, who still has a loyal if limited fan base, is a big fan. (And while he was born in Canada, legal scholars generally agree that he can run.)
In a statement, Cruz said his focus was on electing conservatives in 2014 and defending liberty. He called it "a continued source of amazement that the simple fact that I am working hard with like-minded Senators to keep my promise is seen as newsworthy and cause for wild speculation."
But Cruz would compete for conservative votes with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a close ally who has been open about his presidential ambitions.
“He’s more viable than folks might think because there was such a national effort to elect him,” one Texas GOP consultant told The Fix earlier this year. “But even so, no one who is serious is talking about a Cruz presidential in ’16."