Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), one of the Republican Party’s rising conservative stars, is mulling a run for president in 2016, the National Review’s Robert Costa reported Wednesday.
Friends close to the Texas freshman told Costa that Cruz is “on [the Republican] radar.”
For the moment, Cruz’s inner circle is small: mostly aides from his Senate campaign; his father, Rafael; and his wife, Heidi. They didn’t plan on having these presidential conversations so early in his first term. Yet Cruz’s rapid ascent and a flurry of entreaties from conservative leaders have stoked their interest — and Cruz’s.
“Ted won’t be opening an Iowa office anytime soon, but he’s listening,” says a longtime Cruz associate. “This is all in the early stages; nothing is official. It’s just building on its own.”
Cruz, 42, is a graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law, and previously served as Solicitor General of Texas. He’s gained the blessing of some big conservative players, including the American Conservative Union, FreedomWorks, Family Research Council, and the NRA — which gave him a perfect rating on gun rights in 2012.
Despite his newcomer status in the Senate, Cruz has already gained some notoriety for speaking his mind — often to the joy of the GOP base and the annoyance of Democrats and the more moderate wing of the GOP.
“We all see a path, and he does, too,” one former Cruz colleague told Costa. “This isn’t someone who needs to be told the obvious. He didn’t run for the Senate to get cozy, so no one who knows him is surprised that he’s at least looking at it.”
Cruz still faces opposition from inside the Republican establishment. He has been criticised recently by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, and Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin, who called him “a jerk.”
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