Cruz’s comments draw fire from Dole, McCain
March 7th, 2014
05:23 PM ET
10 months ago

Cruz’s comments draw fire from Dole, McCain

Washington (CNN) – Former Republican presidential nominees Bob Dole and John McCain are pushing back against Sen. Ted Cruz for comments he made Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

As Cruz was talking about how the Republican Party had not been successful in recent campaigns and what it needed to do to win, he said if “you want to lose elections, stand for nothing.”

Then noting in 2010 how Republicans had won the House back with its emphasis on opposition to Obamcare, the Texas Republican added “Of course, all of us remember President Dole and President McCain and President Romney. Now look those are good men, they’re decent men. But when you don’t stand and draw a clear distinction, when you don’t stand for principle, Democrats celebrate.”

Dole, the 1996 nominee, told CNN Friday that “Senator Cruz needs to check the record before passing judgment.”

McCain, the 2008 nominee, told MSNBC Friday that he asked Cruz to apologize to Dole. “I talked to him on the floor. I talked to him on the floor, and I said exactly what I'm telling you I said.”

“(Cruz) can say what he wants about me, and he can say anything he wants to,” McCain continued. “But when he throws Bob Dole in there, I wonder if he thinks that Bob Dole stood for principle on that hilltop in Italy when he was so gravely wounded and left part of his body there fighting for country,” McCain also said.

Cruz’s spokeswoman, Catherine Frazier, reacted to the calls for an apology.

“As he noted in his speech, the Senator greatly respects these men, particularly the heroic military service of Sens. Dole and McCain,” she said in a statement. “Suggesting anything otherwise is just an unnecessary distraction. He will not hesitate to talk about substantive matters of conservative principle that are important to bringing Republicans to victory – even if others may disagree.”


Filed under: Bob Dole • CPAC • John McCain • Ted Cruz
soundoff (86 Responses)
  1. McShannon

    Cruz has shot himself in the foot so many times he has no toes to tow the line for mainline conservatives. He's totally off balance and obviously is struggling with what is real.

    March 9, 2014 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  2. JimfromBham

    If Cruz becomes the Republican nominee and follows his own advice, he will brand himself so only the most right wing voters will vote for him. He will alienate everyone else, including moderate Republicans. The election results will be Hillary 60% Cruz 40% or worse.

    March 9, 2014 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  3. mikenat

    Being from Texas I can assure all that Cruz is very representative of the Republicans here. These people voted in Rick Perry repeatedly. These guys claim to be for less government but both of them have never had a private sector job, They are Professional Policticos..... so don't be fooled by Cruz and his antics America.....

    March 9, 2014 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  4. Marie MD

    @rick, yes, you are right except that rafaelito should be looking in the mirror. He cannot run for president of the US and he can't be dictator of Cuba.
    Cruz has a point. Of course it is more complex than he suggests.
    "The entire country has lost its principles, ideals, and ethics. The entire country has become a land of corruption, dictatorship, and conflict. We are being tested for take over........and all too few of our citizens have any grasp of that truth."
    The country is doing just fine and except for gerrymandered districts we will see change. Your party cannot continue to call pregnant women "hosts" that once they are with child some old guy can tell us what to do. Gays have rights. Seniors are being pushed aside like trash. Veterans need to wake up to the fact that the teaklans only want you for votes and to go die in lies of wars.

    March 9, 2014 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  5. Marie MD

    I am sorry that rafaelito looks like a rat. Rats are sort of cute but have working brains. This guy is just plain ugly inside and out.
    A Harvard education just doesn't mean what it did anymore if you are crazy!

    March 9, 2014 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  6. Gurgyl

    Very vicious idiot, just deport this trash back to canada.

    March 9, 2014 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  7. integrity66

    Don't kid yourself.

    Cruz is a Republican..... he represents what the Republican Party has become and will be for the foreseeable future.

    Americans should quit using the words "Tea Party" and recognize that there is no Tea Party anymore .... There are no significant differences anymore.

    There is only one Reputlican Party and Cruz is the standard bearer for it.

    March 9, 2014 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  8. Free Man in the Republic of Texas

    But... but... WE RINO's love The IRS

    Just like Maxine said:

    Maxine Waters
    U.S. Representative for California's 43rd congressional district;
    and esteemed member of The Congressional BLACK Caucus
    (A Congressional WHITE Caucus would be racist you know)

    "WE know who the REAL enemy is... It's The Tea Party !!!"
    "The Tea Party can go straight to H E L L !!!"

    Government calling down eternal damnation upon American
    citizens for having the gall to suggest...
    Limited Government and Low Taxes

    March 9, 2014 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  9. rburnett2861

    Well they all met at the CPAC ( Circus of Phonies And Clowns ) and what a circus. A bunch of want to be politicians preaching and practicing their hatred and evilness. Paul, Christie, Palin, Bauchman, Cruz, Gingrich and Perry, all making their speeches, pretending to have all the answers, when they don' even know the questions.

    March 9, 2014 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  10. rburnett2861

    Well they all gathered at the CPAC ( Circus of Phonies And Clowns ). And what a circus. Paul, Bauchman, Palin, Christie, Gingrich, Perry and Jhindal, all preaching and practicing their hatred and evilness. Prentending they have all the answers and they don't even know the questions. Couldn't get a spoonful of brains between the seven of thrm

    March 9, 2014 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  11. Maria Rivera-Carvalho

    I have some of my own, senator: 1. If you want to lose elections, stand for intolerance. 2. If you want to lose elections, disrespect women. 3. If you want to lose elections, trample the middle class. 4. If you want to lose elections, perpetuate ethnic stereotypes 5. If you want to lose elections, enable haters. 6. If you want to lose elections, deny veterans their benefits. 7. If you want to lose elections, scapegoat poor children. 8. If you want to lose elections, target the elderly. 9. If you want to lose elections, treat the working class like dirt. 9. If you want to lose elections, underestimate the intelligence of the American voter. 10. If you want to lose elections, listen to Ted Cruz. De nada, senator.

    March 9, 2014 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
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