I’m not sure that this rises to the level of “rigging” the debate, but it’s not a bright move.
Here’s what happened: James received a text message on his personal phone from Cruz ahead of a televised debate scheduled for April 13. In the message, Cruz asks James to consider bringing up the absence of lieutenant governor David Dewhurst, a fellow Republican Senate candidate, from past debates.
“Craig–hope you’re well. See you Friday. For what it’s worth, since you’re asking me a Q, it might be worth asking me something about Dew skipping 31 debates (or something else related to his record). Just an idea… Ted,” the message read.
James released the text message and a message blasting Cruz. “Today I was put in an awkward position by Ted Cruz, a man I’ve come to know and respect. Ted sent me a text suggesting I ask him a set-up question for Friday’s United States Senate debate. In my mind, this is nothing more than an attempt to rig the system,” James said in an emailed statement.
Well, at least we know that he’s willing to make alliances for the right goal. But this is even lower than saying that Dewhurst is too old to make a difference at 67 years of age or that he supported a State income tax for Texas.
Seriously: 31 debates? Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst has a day job! 31 debates is unreasonable and not helpful.
I’m a huge advocate for meeting and talking to the voters and have attended nearly every “debate” here in Comal County. However, not all of them are debates. At most events, there were too many people speaking, with far too little time for meaty questions — virtually none planned for back and forth between the candidates.
I’m endorsing Texas‘ Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst in his race for US Senator and calling on Ted Cruz to retract his false, negative ads.
As a stalwart champion for the right to life, marriage and small government, David Dewhurst has demonstrated the strength of his Conservative philosophy and credentials while serving as President of the Texas Senate. He supported the passage of our Tort Reform, Prenatal Protection Act, Woman’s Right to Know Act,and this year’s Sonogram Law, “Loser Pays,” and Voter ID Law. He has opposed ObamaCare, called for the resignation of Eric Holder for his part in running guns to Mexico and backed Governor Perry in his fight against Federal attempts to encroach on Texas’ state sovereignty. He stood his ground in spite of stunts pulled by Senate Democrats, including their month-long trip to New Mexico in 2003. His answers to the committee that interviewed him, as well as his history, won him the endorsement of Texas Alliance for Life. (I’m on the Board of Directors of TAL.)
I am impressed with his ability to work out agreements among Conservatives separated by degrees on fine points. One day in 2007 stands out in my memory as an example of Dewhurst’s leadership: Lt. Governor Dewhurst brought a group of us together in his office to hammer out an agreement on significant reform for the Texas Advanced Directive Act. He was a calming, firm influence on the large group. I didn’t detect any pressure from him, although the Session was winding down and this would be the last day the legislation could be passed in the Senate.
Last Fall, I wanted the Lieutenant Governor to remain in his current office so we’d have the security of his experience and leadership when (as I had hoped) Governor Perry became President. Because I hoped to have a Governor Dewhurst sworn in in December, I originally decided to support Ted Cruz and even gave him a donation, even though I wondered about his switch from an aspiring Attorney General to the Senate race.
Unfortunately, Ted Cruz and his Senate campaign staff haven’t built their campaign on why Mr. Cruz is qualified and should be Senator. Instead, they’ve spent time and money on abrasive, negative attacks on the Lieutenant Governor, a fine man who has served Texas honorably. Several of the ads have been blatantly false, including a very early one concerning the Transportation Security Agency anti-groping bill (passed in the Special Session) and another claiming that Dewhurst had backed an income tax in 2005 (debunked by the Austin-American “Politi-facts” as “Pants on Fire“).
I spoke to Mr. Cruz’ staff about my disapproval of their attempts to sully the Lieutenant Governor’s reputation last November at the Texas Federation of Republican Women Convention and again at the Comal County Candidate forum on the first of February. The staffers argued with me both times and nothing changed.
The negativity continued. On February 23, Ben Shapiro of Big Government helped spread a false rumor about a “fundraiser” supposedly held by Obama supporters at the home of one of the Podestas. There were no funds raised, and the “home” is actually a townhouse that is often used by a PR firm for meetings. Neither the sponsors nor the invited guests were Democrats or “Liberals.” Shapiro wrote a luke-warm retraction on February 24th, but noted that Cruz’ staffer, James Bernson, defended using the earlier version. Many of us received emails with the false claims on February 28th.
Cruz’ facebook page still contained these false claims as late as last week.
Mr. Cruz is very young and has never held an elective office or proven himself able to build coalitions that we all know are necessary for legislation to pass in either the State or Federal House and Senate. Texas Legislators learn that it is better to persuade their opponents than to tear them down, even when one side has a majority, because of the pressures of our short Sessions. Cruz only knows the adversarial techniques that he must have used to argue cases in court where it’s evidently not enough to be right: the opponent must be depicted as wrong – and guilty.
The race for the open Texas Senate is not a matter of Conservative vs. RINO. It’s not incumbent vs. fresh ideas and energy. It is experience and a proven legislative ability vs. what appears to be a win-at-all-costs, aggressive and arrogant display of disregard for the history and the truth of a good man’s record.
David Dewhurst is conservative and a leader. He has a record over the years that proves that he is not timid or a RINO, at all. Neither is he abrasive and negative as Mr. Cruz has proven himself. I hope you will join with me in supporting David Dewhurst for the Senate.
From “Red Sonja”, Conservatives in Action:
In an attempt to bring first hand information to you about some of our 2012 candidates I sat down and visited with Texas Senatorial candidate Ted Cruz. The YouTube video is just 5 minutes and 17 seconds in length. Actually, I spent more like 30 minutes visiting with him. Cruz has never run for elected office before but has a very successful record as former Texas Solicitor General. He has a very impressive family background and other than not graduating from a Texas university, has a squeaky clean record. He has a way about him that is pleasing and his manner of speaking is easy listening. He seems sure of himself and is passionate and unshakable about his conservative values. Because of his court battles he is unflappable and knowledgeable in the critical issues facing us. I believe he would stand firm against the Obama Administration and against tyranny.
As the Solicitor General under Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, Cruz was instrumental in winning several landmark cases in the US Supreme Court and the Federal Court of Appeals. He has personally argued cases before the US Supreme Court, such as Medellin vs Texas and successfully defended the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act in 2006. Consequently he is well versed in understanding what it takes to win. His knowledge and expertise will be extremely effective if he is elected to the Senate.
Cruz exemplifies the American Dream. His father born and raised in Cuba fought in the Cuban Revolution and was imprisoned and tortured. Ted’s grandfather got him out of prison and he fled to America in 1957 seeking freedom from oppression. Ted’s father enrolled at the University of Texas and worked hard all his life. Ted’s parents, as small business entrepreneurs, managed a data processing company in the oil and gas field. It was great listening to Cruz comment that his father was his ‘hero’.
Read the transcript from the interview, here and watch the video on YouTube: