During an appearance on ABC News’ This Week on Sunday, Jon Karl told the panel that Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is so hated by fellow Republicans these days that he will “need a food taster” at weekly Senate lunches. George Stephanopoulos replied that Sen. Cruz “does have a high tolerance for personal pain inside of his caucus.”
Below is the clip via MRC TV:
On radio this morning, Glenn, Pat, and Stu used the clip as a jumping off point to examine the potential 2016 GOP field. Glenn decided to narrow the debate to Sen. Cruz and his compatriot Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY). Who has the better chance of winning?
“Look, they’re making this into a bad thing. You know, he has a high tolerance for personal pain. That’s a good thing! That’s a good thing,” Glenn said. “Now, the question is: Can you win? In a straight-up Rand Paul/Ted Cruz, had to elect today, which one has the best shot of winning?”
Stu picked Sen. Cruz in a hypothetic election against Democrat Hillary Clinton because he believes libertarianism will be painted as an extremist ideology.
I think when it comes down to a general election, there’s a chance they will attempt to paint libertarianism as completely insane. So I think I’ll go Ted Cruz,” Stu explained. “I think they are both great, and I’d be happy with both of them.”
While Glenn agrees that Sen. Paul’s libertarian background could be used against him, he actually believes Sen. Paul is better positioned within the Republican Party than Sen. Cruz.
“Here’s what’s interesting: Rand Paul is actually positioning himself within the party as more of a GOP guy. But he has this view because of his dad and because [of] who he is as a libertarian,” Glenn said. “Where you have Ted Cruz actually positioning himself against the GOP, but he is viewed as the establishment, or closer to the establishment GOP… You look at him and he is white shirt, red tie, blue suit. He seems like the GOP guy, if you put them side-by-side, compared to Rand Paul. But Rand Paul is behaving more like a GOP guy than Ted Cruz is. It’s fascinating.”
Sen. Cruz will most likely be painted as a religious zealot who is part of the ‘war on women,’ while Sen. Paul will be seen as racists for his position on the Civil Rights Act. Stu believes Sen. Paul will struggle more in the primary because he will find himself surrounded by a group of conservatives that have dramatically different positions on certain issues.
“It’s interesting because I feel like with Rand Paul you have a different government philosophy than we’ve had in either of the two major parties for a long time. Rand Paul is legitimately a libertarian for the most part and that’s different than what we’ve had. And he will be able to talk a game that might connect with some people on war and stuff that I think will be successful with some,” Stu said. “I think he’s going to have a tough time with that in the primary. When you have five conservatives going after him on issues of defense, it’s going to be tough for him to get out of that. He’s good, so I think he’ll have a chance. But it’s a tough argument. You saw what Ron Paul did in that argument.”
“I think he’ll connect because he has not played that game,” Glenn interjected. “That’s not who he is. He isn’t his father. He will be able to connect with the universities and the university students in a completely different way.”
Ultimately, the guys agreed that it is necessary to avoid another 2008 or 2012 where a weak candidate emerges from a belabored primary fight.
“I can tell you: TheBlaze is going to go through enormous growth in the next two years, enormous growth. We won’t be alone in this, but I think we will be able to really impact culture and what’s going on in the country,” Glenn concluded. “Everybody keeps saying: If we don’t win the Hispanics, or if we don’t win this, or if we don’t win that. How about winning the truth… because they can’t hide anymore.”