With the Texas primary coming up on March 1, three of the state’s major newspapers have now passed on the chance to endorse native Senator Ted Cruz for the GOP nomination — and that’s putting it mildly. As the Hill points out, the state’s largest newspaper, the Dallas Morning News, went with “pragmatic” Ohio governor John Kasich on Friday, and both the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News have now opted for Jeb Bush as well. Said the Morning News of Cruz, “As much as we’d like to see a Texan in the White House, we fear that Cruz’s brand of politics is more about disruption than governing and threatens to take the Republican Party to a dark place.” While the Express-News admitted that Bush was “not the flashiest candidate” in the race, they thoroughly rejected Cruz as an alternative:
[T]he freshman senator has demonstrated a frightening willingness to push the American economy to the brink of disaster to pursue his ideological agenda — even when he clearly does not have the votes to get his way. The freshman senator’s methodical run for the White House is obviously well-planned, but Cruz’s self-centered approach has thoroughly alienated even his Republican Senate colleagues. And that is obviously a recipe for a weak, unsuccessful administration. He lacks the temperament to be president.
Cruz’s hometown Chronicle went even further, insisting that Cruz is basically terrible at this whole representative-government thing, let alone the fact that everybody pretty much hates him:
During his brief time in office, Ted Cruz has become the most ineffectual, inattentive U.S. senator Texans have sent to Washington since perhaps W. Lee “Pass the Biscuits, Pappy” O’Daniel during the 1940s. Unlike the old flour man from Fort Worth, whip-smart Cruz has been willfully ineffectual. His predecessor, Kay Bailey Hutchison, recognized that her primary obligation as a U.S. senator was to serve the people of Texas; Cruz, the embodiment of the hard right, wears his disdain for government as a badge of honor.
The dislike the man engenders is so intense it’s hard to find a historical precedent for it. Not only do his political opponents detest him, but also his fellow Republicans. (Obviously, Will Rogers never met Ted Cruz.)
The senator wears his personal and political isolation as another badge of honor, and yet imagine how ineffectual he would be in the White House. Unable to work even with members of his own party, he would make the icy relations between an obstinate Republican-led Congress and an aloof Democratic president look like a Sunday school picnic by comparison.
We would be happy to endorse “the hometown guy” — if we believed he would be a good president. Cruz does not meet that basic criterion.