Some Democrats are welcoming the news that Ted Cruz is officially jumping into the Republican presidential race.
In the run-up to 2016, they noted that Cruz has been as critical of GOP leaders as of Democrats and predicted that his candidacy would divide Republicans along conservative-moderate lines.
“Ted Cruz has been running the Republican Party for years, driving extreme policies that put Tea Party politics ahead of middle class families,” said Ben Ray, spokesman for American Bridge 21st Century, a Democratic opposition research organization.
Cruz’s “run for President will do exactly what he’s done in the Senate: bring out the Tea Partier in every last Republican candidate,” Ray said.
Some Democrats also said that Cruz is too extreme for the electorate at large.
“That man betokens such a level of ignorance, and a direct falsification of the existing scientific data,” California Gov. Jerry Brown said Sunday on NBC’s Meet The Press while discussing Cruz’s views of climate change. “It’s shocking, and I think that man has rendered himself absolutely unfit to be running for office.”
Cruz has said that science does not back up global warming “alarmists” and that climate change legislation would damage the American economy.
As for his own party, Cruz has said that Republican leaders too often cave in to President Obama and congressional Democrats. The freshman senator from Texas has been willing to risk government shutdowns to oppose Obama’s health care and immigration policies.
Cruz’s aggressive rhetoric has earned him some critics within the Republican Party. But no party leader has (publicly) said he shouldn’t run for president.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the party’s 2008 nominee, has been the target of Cruz barbs but now says they are friendly.
“He is a valued member of the Senate Armed Services Committee … and I think he is a very viable candidate,” McCain said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.
McCain also said that if Cruz captures the nomination, he could beat Hillary Rodham Clinton in the general election.