In the aftermath of the disastrous midterm elections for Republicans, the blame game has largely focused on former President Donald Trump’s ongoing ballot box toxicity. You might also want to take a more critical look at influencer Senator Ted Cruz’s record.
Cruz stamped more than 20 Republican candidates in this midterm election, but it didn’t go well. Most of them have lost or are still losing with some totals trickling in.
Mr. Cruz focused his support on House elections, specifically backing 24 of the 25 candidates on the “Cruise 25 for 22 Victory Fund” community fundraising committee. Of the 24 nominees, only 9 of hers won. The group includes Mike Lee, one of Cruise’s fellow senators. Mike Lee won re-election after a surprisingly tough challenge from independent candidate Evan McMullin.
A “Truth and Courage” Super PAC tied with Cruz did even worse. Groups openly allied with Cruz won only one of the three races they funded, perhaps to an illegal degree. That’s a victory for Rep. Corey Mills, who beat Karen Greene for the vacant seat in Florida.
Two other candidates, Caroline Levitt of New Hampshire and Yesli Vega of Virginia, lost elections in heavily invested Republican campaigns. Leavitt and Vega were also part of Cruz’s ’25 for 22′ team, but his one Super PAC winner, Mills, was not a member.
Cruz also sits on a joint committee for a small number of Senate candidates. That group, “Winning the Senate in 2022,” counts his leadership PAC alongside Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas). Of his five nominees for the 2022 Commission, Katie Britt of Alabama, his JD Vance of Ohio, and Ted Budd of North Carolina, three of him won. Dr. Mehmet Oz lost in Pennsylvania and Adam Laxalt lost in Nevada.
And outspoken Texas conservatives announced— the day after the election — he would be the first official to make a personal appearance in Georgia for Republican Herschel Walker’s runoff campaign.
For Cruise, it seems to be a newfound enthusiasm. Although he has made prior appearances in support of Walker in Georgia, the troubled football legend was not included in the Cruz-Cornin joint fundraising effort, and is expected to receive a $100,000 boost from available federal campaign funds. And a committee tied to Cruz hasn’t given Walker any money for the general election.Data.
The move comes as Republican heavyweights and advisers, fearing a repeat of the Democrats’ robbing of two seats in the 2021 Georgia election, begged Trump to stay out of the runoff and 2024 elections. It was done at a time when he even delayed the announcement of his candidacy scheduled for the year until the race was decided.
However, Cruise was also in the 2021 runoff vote. At the time, he posted a Facebook ad in Georgia asking for donations to help Republicans maintain a majority in the Senate.
“Gun abuse, tax increases, open borders, and the Supreme Court piling up. If they win the Georgia Senate election, that’s the agenda of the Radical Democrats,” Cruz said in the ad, noting that he’s “Keep Georgia.” He solicited small donations to what he called the “Red Fund.”
Unfortunately for the Georgia Republican candidate, all the money went directly to Ted Cruz, and both Republicans lost.
But it wasn’t just Cruz’s candidate who performed poorly. He also tested the limits of the law to do so.
A “blatantly cynical” election law troll, Cruise’s political efforts this year appear to defy rules designed to keep candidates out of super PACs. The Daily Beast previously reported a surprising fortuitous tie between Cruz and the Truth and Courage super PAC, both among the group’s megadonors and their vendors.
The Campaign Finance Act makes it illegal for a candidate to establish, direct, fund, or manage a super PAC that raises unlimited funds. And Cruz even made a personal appearance at a national Truth and Courage fundraising event, with one outlet even calling it “Cruise’s ‘Truth and Courage PAC’ Tour.”
The Super PAC website promoted a national tour with Cruz and singled out four senator candidates: Laxalt, Walker, Vance and Breakmaster of Arizona. Only Vance won the election.
And earlier this year, Cruise filed some bizarre reports. It showed him transforming his own campaign into something of a super PAC, making a series of independent spending on behalf of his former staffer Kathy Garcia. This boost helped push Garcia over the line in the Texas primary.
On Tuesday, Garcia lost the general election to Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-Texas).