Anything involving junior Texas Senator Ted Cruz is likely to invoke some level of toxic response from Senator John McCain of Arizona and his secondary outlet of public communication, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.
That Senator McCain harbors a grudge against “the Bushies” for the South Carolina primary defeat that ended his presidential run in 2000 is the worst kept secret in Washington. Having “his” candidate lose in his home state was also a blow to Graham. Known for his long memory, some Senate staffers joke the “R” behind McCain’s name is for “revenge.” Other quip Lindsey Graham is “the senator from McCain.”
You’d think they’d be over it, but never has their ax grinding against former George W. Bush allies been more obvious and counter-productive than over the last few months.
Ted Cruz was a key Bush campaign staffer in 2000. Primarily a legal advisor, he also provided domestic policy advice and served as a contact for movement conservatives. A brilliant legal mind, Cruz was a critical asset to Bush’s Florida recount team. Ted was well-liked and respected among campaign staff, and like Karl Rove, known to perform congressional district voter math in his head.