Ted Cruz once was called “off the charts brilliant” by Alan Dershowitz, a liberal Harvard Law School professor, but no one has ever accused the freshman senator from Texas, now a top contender for the Republican presidential nomination, of being voted “most popular” by any group of which he was or is a part.
And Cruz just suffered a slap from Sarah Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, who endorsed Cruz’s rival, Donald Trump, for president. This, even though Palin had pushed Cruz in his 2012 campaign for the U.S. Senate.
Now the Associated Press reports that North Carolina’s senior Sen. Richard Burr, a Republican, told a supporter at a campaign fundraiser that he’d vote for liberal Democrat Bernie Sanders over Cruz if Cruz won the GOP nomination. Burr is demanding a retraction and saying he’ll support any GOP nominee. But one Republican opponent, Greg Brannon, accepted the AP report and even reckoned Burr to be a socialist.
The AP is standing by its story, and the story has legs because it’s no secret that Cruz, isn’t the warm and fuzzy best friend to his colleagues. He called some fellow Republicans “squishes” on gun control and has blasted his leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, along with other GOP senators he deemed not conservative enough. John McCain, the 2008 nominee, has criticized Cruz more than once.
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Burr obviously wants to discredit the story, but the senator appears to be in a standoff with the Associated Press, and the feelings about Cruz among some in the GOP establishment aren’t helping Burr here. A North Carolina GOP family feud may be brewing.