In what seemed a clear blow to candidate-apparent Jeb Bush, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz said Thursday that if Republicans want a truly competitive chance in 2016 against the likes of Hillary Clinton, they’ll need to run a candidate who is not moderate.
Cruz, considered a potential presidential candidate in 2016, is a dyed-in-the-wool conservative who has been a vocal critic of those in his party who stray to the center or become too “Beltway.”
When asked about the former Florida governor in an interview on CNBC, Cruz, who is from Texas, said that running moderate or so-called establishment candidates such as Sen. John McCain of Arizona in 2008 and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in 2012 has proven futile for Republicans.
“Jeb has not declared his candidacy. I like Jeb. I’m a fan of Jeb Bush’s. I’m going to let him decide if he’s running first and let the primary voters make a decision,” Cruz said, according to Politico. “But I will say this: We need to learn from history, we need to look to history and what works and what doesn’t.”
“[I]f we run another candidate in the mold of a Bob Dole [in 1996] or a John McCain or Mitt Romney, we will end up with the same result, which is millions of people will stay home on Election Day, which is what happened for all three of them,” Cruz said. “And if we run another candidate like that, Hillary Clinton will be the next president.”
Many political experts believe that Clinton, former secretary of state and first lady, is the strong favorite to get the Democratic nomination in 2016. She has not yet announced whether she will run or not.