GOP UNDERCARD BATTLE RATCHETS UP …
|| By FITSNEWS || As the “Republican” presidential field continues to winnow – the wheat separating from the chaff – a GOP undercard battle is brewing between a pair of U.S. Senators with generally exemplary voting records on freedom and free market issues.
We’re referring to Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky – two candidates who have seen their otherwise compelling anti-establishment bona fides drowned out by the meteoric rise of GOP frontrunner Donald Trump.
Trump’s rise has been especially damaging to Paul – who at one point was considered a top tier GOP contender. Now he’s clinging to second-tier status.
(In fact we wrote a column last week about Paul’s missed opportunity).
Earlier this week, Paul was rocked by the news that Purple PAC – one of the political action committees supporting his candidacy – had ceased its fundraising efforts on his behalf.
“I have stopped raising money for him until I see the campaign correct its problems,” the group’s co-founder told Politico. “I wasn’t going to raise money to spend on a futile crusade.”
Specifically, the co-founder – Ed Crane of the Cato Institute – said Paul had abandoned his libertarian base, which was the reason he was tanking in the polls.
“I want to grab Rand by the lapels and say, ‘What are you doing?’” Crane told reporter Alex Isenstadt. “I’m a big fan of Rand Paul. But whatever motivates his campaign, I don’t get it.”
Nor do we …
Additional bad news broke via a report in The Washington Examiner – which concluded that Cruz was making major inroads with Paul’s base of supporters.
Not surprisingly, the two candidates are increasingly at each other’s throats.
Earlier this week, for example, Paul said Cruz’s bad attitude was the reason the U.S. Senate didn’t give him a vote on defunding government subsidized abortion provider Planned Parenthood.
We supported Cruz in his efforts. Paul? Not so much.
“Ted has chosen to make this really personal and chosen to call people dishonest in leadership and call them names which really goes against the decorum and also against the rules of the Senate, and as a consequence he can’t get anything done legislatively,” Paul told Fox News this week. “He is pretty much done for and stifled and it’s really because of personal relationships, or lack of personal relationships, and it is a problem. I approach things a little different, I am still just as hardcore in saying what we are doing , I just chose not to call people liars on the Senate floor and it’s just a matter of different perspectives on how best to get to the end result.”
Cruz has previously called out Paul for his lack of support during the 2013 fight over funding for Obamacare.
“I marveled that Rand had decided not to be with us in this fight,” Cruz wrote in his book, accusing Paul of working to “deliberately undermine” conservative efforts to defund the controversial measure.
Which of these undercard candidates do we support? Time will tell. We’re obviously impressed with Paul’s tax proposals, but Cruz has clearly been the more consistent pro-freedom, pro-free market candidate during the 2016 election.