News & Politics

Will Trump's 2016 'Lyin' Ted' Tweets Doom Cruz's Reelection Chances?

Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas questions Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 22, 2017, during Gorsuch's confirmation hearing before the committee. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

During the 2016 race for the GOP presidential nomination, Donald Trump let loose a series of devastating tweets against his main rival, Senator Ted Cruz.

Democrats are ready to take advantage of this, fundraising to drive a mobile billboard all over Texas with Trump’s insults from 2016. The Hill reports:

GoFundMe page organized by USA Latinx, a political group focused on supporting Latinx candidates, topped its $6,000 fundraising goal, raising nearly $10,000 in less than 24 hours.

Parkland, Fla., school shooting survivor and gun control advocate David Hogg and Claude Taylor, the chairman of the liberal Mad Dog PAC, helped promote the effort on social media.

“President Donald Trump will be campaigning to help Sen. Ted Cruz win his re-election,” the page reads. “A rally is being planned, according to Trump ‘at the biggest stadium in Texas.’ We are planning to display the presidents own words about Cruz from 2016 on a mobile billboard, to remind Texans of the truth.”

The proposed sign will feature a February 2016 tweet from Trump criticizing Cruz as an “all talk, no action” politician.

“Why would the people of Texas support Ted Cruz when he has accomplished absolutely nothing for them,” Trump’s tweet reads. “He is another all talk, no action pol!”

Trump, two years after a fierce presidential primary battle with Cruz, has committed to campaigning for the senator in his tougher-than-anticipated Senate race against Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke (Texas).

David Hogg tries to play grown-up politics and ends up looking like a high school kid running for class president.

Yes, Trump’s insults were vicious and weird, threatening to “spill the beans” on Cruz’s wife and saying that the senator’s father was involved in the JFK assassination. But as a club the opposition wants to use against Cruz, it’s pathetic.

A “mobile billboard”? Who’s going to see it? The stories about creating the billboard will be seen by more people than the billboard itself.

Besides, as political media, billboards are close to the bottom in effectiveness — perhaps above match covers and coffee mugs.

As far as the content of the tweets hurting Cruz, forget it. Most voters are sophisticated enough to know how the game is played. While Trump’s tweets may have been over the top, voters understand what politicians do to get elected. Trump’s apparent about-face in supporting Cruz for re-election isn’t raising any eyebrows outside of some delusional Democrats.

Cruz’s opponent, Beto O’Rourke, is currently within a point or two of the senator, but we’re still 60 days out from the election. I fully expect Cruz to win this race by at least 5 points as Republicans in Texas “come home” to support him.