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by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

March 10, 2014 - 8:06 am

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) took a stab at Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) speech last week to the Conservative Political Action Conference, with Paul noting on Fox News Sunday that he doesn’t like to “drag people down” when he speaks.

“You want to lose elections, stand for nothing,” Cruz told the CPAC crowd Thursday morning, detailing years of congressional defeats with the 2010 Tea Party rout as the exception. “…And then of course, all of us remember President Dole and President McCain and President Romney. Now look, those are good men. They’re decent men, but when you don’t stand and draw a clear distinction; when you don’t stand for principle, Democrats celebrate.”

Paul was asked by Fox host Chris Wallace if it was “over the line for Ted Cruz to go after a war hero like Bob Dole.”

“You know, I guess I would just say that everybody has their own style. My style is that I stand for things and I don’t think people question whether I stand for principle, but I don’t spend a lot of time trying to drag people down,” Paul responded. “I’ve been very complimentary of Mitt Romney. I like him and think he’s a great guy. Can we get the party bigger? There’s always ways to get the party bigger particularly when we don’t win. I realize the party has to be bigger, not smaller.”

The growing 2016 rivalry between the two senators should only mount with Paul’s victory in the CPAC straw poll and Cruz’s victory in the Senate Conservatives Fund straw poll, which the SCF strategically released Saturday a few minutes before the CPAC poll was unveiled.

John McCain told MSNBC that Cruz “can say what he wants to about me and he can say anything he wants to, I think, about Mitt. Mitt is capable of taking it.”

“But when he throws Bob Dole in there, I wonder if he thinks that Bob Dole stood for principle on that hilltop in Italy when he was so gravely wounded and left part of his body there fighting for our country?” McCain said. “Bob Dole is such a man of honor and integrity and principle. I hope that Ted Cruz will apologize to Bob Dole, because that’s — that has crossed a line that, to me, is — leaves the realm of politics and discourse that we should have in America.”

The Arizona Republican said he talked to Cruz on the Senate floor after the speech and told the Texas Republican the same thing.

“If you want to, you know, say things that are critical of me and Mitt Romney, that’s fine,” McCain said. “My beloved Bob Dole, as you know, is not in the best of health and he doesn’t need that in the twilight of his years.”

Dole, 90, released a statement saying “Senator Cruz needs to check the record before passing judgment.”

“I was one of President Reagan’s strongest supporters, and my record is that of a traditional Republican conservative,” Dole added.

“Can’t we honor Bob Dole without dragging him into this Tea Party versus non-Tea Party?” McCain continued this morning on CNN. “It’s just — it’s just totally inappropriate and I don’t think that Bob Dole deserves it. He deserves our honor and our respect now.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
McCain's a liberal demagogue. What in the holy hell did Cruz' comments have to do with Bob Dole's war record? So a guy who served honorably in war is now infallible? Incapable of ever being wrong about anything? What a d-bag.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
So using John McCain's senior moment logic, we should laud the actions of Lee Harvey Oswald, Charles Whitman, and also the late John Murtha, all outstanding United States Marines. Their actions following their discharge from the service are beyond reproach. We cannot question their subsequent actions after service to their country?
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
That's a cheap shot at Cruz. He wasn't criticizing Dole's (or McCain's) character or patriotism he was attacking their campaigns.

Charles Rangle is a legitimate war hero. Can we say he failed to stand on principle when he baldly cheated on his taxes?
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (19)
All Comments   (19)
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Please...so sick of this endless game of gotcha by these sclerotic Establicrat politicians. Yes Bob Dole is a formidable hero. For that matter McCain left a lot on the field in Vietnam, but so did Daniel Inouya (in WWII of course), and he was wrong about almost everything. You can be a great patriot, a fantastic human being and an awesome hero, and still not understand how to govern.

Cruz said they were good men and bad candidates. That was accurate.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
So --- if I get what McLame said he recognizes he (McLame) has no principles? I guess he's self-aware after all.

27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
"McCain says Cruz should apologize to Bob Dole for lumping him in with candidates who don't stand on principle."

I think Cruz should just change "Bob Dole" to "John McCain".
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's obvious that Cruz was talking about taking a stand POLITICALLY, so this is just another stupid anti-Cruz argument not based on any type of reality whatsoever.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Let's see, Democrats have been winning Presidential elections lately, particularly against Dole, McCain, and Romney. Did the Democrats say negative things about the Republicans during their winning election campaigns?

Now, as I recall during the Romney campaign, there was no reluctance at all to rip opponents to shreds, as long as the opponents were conservative Republicans. The passive campaign, referring to the opponent always as a "nice man", began only when the opponent was Obama, instead of a conservative Republican.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
They don't call the Pubs the "Stupid Party" for nothing. I am sooooo tired of these people eating their own. They are their own worst enemies & the Democrats are just lovin' the hell out of it as they march to one election victory after another.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
What does Bob Dole's war record have to do with his utterly failed Presidential candidacy? Bob Dole was consider a PITA to everyone who ever worked with him.

McCain is just a slimy demagogue using Dole's war record to attack Cruz because Cruz pointed out McCains vacuous nature.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
I wonder if McCain was trying to stop criticism against himself because he's a war hero, too. If we can't complain about Dole, then we can't complain about McCain either. I honor both men's service and sacrifice, but that doesn't give them the right to be mediocre or wishy-washy politicians and not have it pointed out.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
McCain's a liberal demagogue. What in the holy hell did Cruz' comments have to do with Bob Dole's war record? So a guy who served honorably in war is now infallible? Incapable of ever being wrong about anything? What a d-bag.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
So a guy who served honorably in war is now infallible?
----------------------------------

McCain is making the connection that he too is infallible. He just doesn't want to say it.

Yes - McCain is a douche-bag.

27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
So using John McCain's senior moment logic, we should laud the actions of Lee Harvey Oswald, Charles Whitman, and also the late John Murtha, all outstanding United States Marines. Their actions following their discharge from the service are beyond reproach. We cannot question their subsequent actions after service to their country?
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
That's a cheap shot at Cruz. He wasn't criticizing Dole's (or McCain's) character or patriotism he was attacking their campaigns.

Charles Rangle is a legitimate war hero. Can we say he failed to stand on principle when he baldly cheated on his taxes?
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
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