Ted Cruz Was Not a Victory for Latinos, But a Loss For the GOP in Congress

By Alex Gonzalez

With an 8% turnout, or 631,000 voters, Ted Cruz triumphed over Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. Most national media emphasized how it was more a victory for the Tea Party than for the Republican Party.  Similarly, many so-called Hispanic Republican Pundits in D.C. are already making the naïve assumption that Cruz’s victory is sign of the new “inclusive” Republican Party for Latinos, notwithstanding the fact that Cruz  ran as an anti-establishment candidates and never talked about Hispanic issues such education or health care.

Consequently, this indeed was a loss for the Republican Party.  Ted Cruz ran one of the most anti-Republican campaigns in the nation in a state where the Republican establishment has passed legislations that has kept the economics of the state strong during a national recession. Moreover, Cruz ran one the most  anti-immigrant Senatorial campaign in Texas recent history than reflects very little the values of the Republican Party of Texas,  Ronald Reagan,  Latinos, or Conservatism. So I don’t know what those D.C. Hispanic pundits are referring to as “new” GOP. Thus, between the D.C. Hispanic Republican pundits–and Univision–praising Ted Cruz as new symbol of how the Republican Party is becoming more” inclusive,” and the well-funded Tea  Party groups like FreedomWork and Tea Party Express, completely missed the point of  how the Republican Party in Texas and in Congress has been weakened .

Moreover, now only these Hispanic Republican pundits are oblivion to what  just happened in Texas, but they missed the whole political battle that the Republican Party lost in Texas and in Congress, and how it will affect policy formulation in the Senate for Mitch McConnell. For example, in open forum on Politico about the Cruz’s victory, Alfonso Aguilar—a long time Hispanic Republican Pundit and  Executive Director of Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles stated that:

The Republican Party is continuing to build on recent successes in recruiting talented Latino candidates for first tier elective offices in strategic states, as well as building a robust farm team of local officeholders that will produce future national candidacies.” 

another “pundit” by the name of Erika Lovley wrote that “ 

Republican Senate candidate Ted Cruz had a solid win last night over Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in Texas, making Cruz the GOP’s newest national Latino star. Cruz’s victory is another sign that the Republican Party is dominating when it comes to cultivating Latino politicians.”

Even the WSJ wrote:

Mr. Cruz’s triumph also shows the degree to which the GOP now has a growing number of nonwhite rising stars. They include Florida Senator Marco Rubio, whose family emigrated from Cuba, Indian-American Governors Bobby Jindal (Louisiana) and Nikki Haley (South Carolina), Governors of Latino descent Susana Martinez (New Mexico) and Brian Sandoval (Nevada), and black Congressmen Tim Scott (South Carolina) and Allen West of Florida. The conventional media wisdom is that the GOP is doomed to minority status as whites become a smaller share of voters. Not so fast.

Thus, Hispanic Republican operative in D.C. really cannot see beyond the “Cruz” name and see how Cruz -Tea Party marriage is really a detriment to the interests of the Republican Party and  Latinos in Congress.  Moreover, while those Hispanic pundits in D.C and Tea Party groups celebrate,  Republicans in Texas mourn the weakening of their Party by wealthy interests group from other states.

For example,  As the WAPO points out, Perry’s support for Dewhurst cost him some support among grassroots activists, and Dewhurst’s loss signals that Perry’s political capital is clearly not what it was before he began his Presidential run in 2011,” said Rice University political scientist Mark Jones.  Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst’s loss in the Texas GOP Senate runoff on Tuesday is the latest setback for Perry.  Perry threw his electoral weight behind his lieutenant governor in the closing days and weeks of the campaign. But Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst’s loss in the Texas GOP Senate runoff on Tuesday is the latest setback for Perry.

Perry threw his electoral weight behind his lieutenant governor in the closing days and weeks of the campaign, when former state solicitor general Ted Cruz began gaining on Dewhurst, who had been the favorite in the race from day one. What’s more, Dewhurst’s loss came during a primary season in which Perry’s political backing has done plenty for other Texas GOP candidates. Rep. J.M. Lozano (a Hispanic who recently switched parties).

Thus, in reality, this Tea Party victory for Cruz also weakens Texas’ clout in the Senate and it give more clout to Sen. DeMint over Sen. Cornyn. As the WaPo also pointed out:

As chairman of the NRSC, Cornyn belongs to one power center in the chamber — one primarily concerned with majority making. Conservative Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) belongs to an alternative one, which is concerned with building a coalition of conservative senators.  And that reality means DeMint has even more reasons than Cornyn to celebrate Cruz’s win.  DeMint, a conservative icon who proved to be quite the thorn in Cornyn’s side last cycle, backed Cruz in the primary. DeMint’s Senate Conservatives Fund and its super PAC spent $2 million to help Cruz take down Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, a onetime overwhelming favorite and the candidate preferred by the state’s GOP establishment including  Gov. Rick Perry.

There are two important lessons that the Republican in Texas and Latinos in the southwest can learn from Dewhurst’s defeat. 1) The so-called Republican Pundits in D.C. do not know anything about Latinos in the Southwest; they will say anything just to get their name in news. 2) In politics,  strong  economic numbers and on low-taxes track record are not enough to win statewide election, is more about passion and; otherwise, how else one would  explain the defeat of Dewhurst who has strong conservative record and support from the  GOP legislators.

So while Tea Party supporters celebrate, and the so-called  Latino Republican pundits  in Washington wish Ted Cruz was Republican,  the entire  Republican establishment  in Texas remains on awe wondering what happened to their Party. When did they allow the party veer so much to the right in the hands of outsiders like Palin and Santorum. When did they let 1/2 term governor turned activists from Alaska have more leverage over the Republican base in Texas than Gov. Perry and 19 Republican state senators.

Also, this veer too far—right to the Tea Party direction  in the US Senate may jeopardize the future leadership GOP since Tea Partiers  will threaten the businesses community by paralyzing Congress; gridlock in Congress creates business uncertainty – gridlock in Congress costs tax payers money.   Additionally, Tea Party senators will make it harder to woo Latino voters in the state Party.  Cruz victory’s in essence, is other than a win for Latinos,  it is a loss to the Republicans and it only enlarged the rift or “the hostile takeover” of the Tea Party Groups over the Party of Ronald Reagan, W. Bush, and Rick Perry.

Also, more troubling for Latinos is the fact Those Tea Party groups that Cruz now owes favors do not want to cut government expenditure from the trilling of money spent on entitlement middle-class programs such as Medicare and Social Security, but rather from education and even the military.   Thus, this should be good warning for the Republican to make bigger effort to recruit and groom Latinos in Texas who will protect the GOP Establishment.

Alex Gonzalez  is a political Analyst and Political Director for Latinos Ready To Vote.comments to vote@latinosreadytovote.com or  @AlexGonzTXCA

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