Club for Growth: Ted Cruz was perfect in 2013


Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), emerges from the Senate Chamber on Sept. 25, 2013, after his overnight crusade railing against the nation's new health-care law at the Capitol. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

The Club for Growth is out with its 2013 scorecard, and the big winner is Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.).

Cruz is one of just two Senate Republicans to earn perfect scores from the fiscally conservative group, along with Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah).

Two other potential GOP presidential candidates — Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) — trail just behind Cruz and Lee, earning the group's "Defender of Economic Freedom" awards for scoring above 90 percent in 2013 and having lifetime ratings above that same threshold.

Paul ranked third among all senators with a 97 percent score in 2013, while Rubio ranked 12th at 91 percent.

Another potential 2016 GOP candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), scored considerably lower. The architect of the bipartisan budget last year — a budget the club opposed — scored 79 percent, good for 70th overall but still in the top one-third of all House Republicans.

Four of Ryan's House colleagues — including three Arizonans — received perfect scores. They are Reps. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.), Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.), Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) and Tom McClintock (R-Calif.).

Among the other notable scores:

  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who is receiving a challenge from the right, ranked 15th out of 45 Senate Republicans with a score of 87 percent — just above his 85 percent lifetime score.
  • Another primary target, longtime Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), had the third-lowest score among Republicans, at 56 percent. The club is supporting his primary opponent, state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R).
  • A third primary target, Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), ranked 19th with an 84 percent — significantly higher than his lifetime score of 74 percent.
  • Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) continues to be the highest-scoring Republican in the Georgia GOP Senate primary, at 97 percent, good for 13th overall. Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) scored a 93 percent, and Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) scored an 87 percent. All three are running, among other candidates.
  • The lowest-scoring Republican in the House: Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.), who made news recently by threatening to throw a TV reporter over a capitol balcony. Grimm later apologized.
Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix, the Post’s top political blog.
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Aaron Blake | February 24