Cruz’s comments draw fire from Dole, McCain
March 7th, 2014
05:23 PM ET
9 years 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.”

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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. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    I swear I think some of these guys are becoming the Hollywood of the east... Anything for attention and the more outrageous, the better... Dole and McCain lost not because they didn't stand for anything, but because the majority of people didn't think they liked WHAT they stood for. It really IS that simple. And you clowns think that you have a "messaging problem" when, what you actually have is a MESSAGE problem. People don't like what you DO stand for!

    But hey, go ahead and tie up your current message in pretty ribbons and bows. Spend a lot of money seeing if it works. I think you're going to be disappointed, though....

    March 8, 2014 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  2. salty dog

    You see Cruz, when you stand for what the gop does, its difficult to message it in a favorable light. Kinda like saying Satan's not so bad. That's their messaging problem they have, cancer is difficult to promote as a good thing.

    March 8, 2014 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  3. Jack

    Cruz is acting extremely childish. I am 66 a moderate conservative. I was a millionaire as farmer, lost nearly all of in the farm recession of the 80's. Didn't go bankrupt, like Donald (6 times) Trump. Have come back and have assets in the million, but wouldn't even think of voting for any of these guys!

    Let me tell you principles are only good when you have a full stomach! Cruz may have worked hard, just like Rand Paul, John Boehner, but the have never been on the street wondering where next meal is or choicing between food or shelter. I was within a couple hours a number of times, because my employer couldn't meet payroll. Cruz and the Tea Party Conservatives are missing the point!

    If the Republican what to win election; start talking about how make a more efficient and effective safety net! A way for the poor to have a chance to elevate themselves! Not putting people down!

    March 8, 2014 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  4. don in albuquerque

    Ya know, Bowie, Crockett, and Travis look at this guy and die all over again. Only this time it is from embarrassment.

    March 8, 2014 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  5. Lizzie

    Profile of a typical republican voter,
    Thank you, for telling all of us how think anyone who makes under than $200000 a year is a looser, yet we are the middle class who pay most of the taxes, that work 2 jobs if necessary to make ends meet and don't wait for government to pay for everything, apparently if your not from the east coast, Harvard graduate your nothing.

    March 8, 2014 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  6. Biff McGuzzle

    I am a Democrat who has the highest respect for Bob Dole and I admire John McCain's service as well, although I often disagree with him. I had the pleasure of shaking Bob Dole's left hand one day. Cruz is such an obnoxious twerp that really needs a good beating to bring him back to reality. If he wasn't a Senator , he would be the guy getting beat up every weekend at some dive bar.

    March 8, 2014 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  7. John

    Is ted cruz a Cuban sleeper spy? Walks like it talks like it. Always trying to overthrow the government.

    March 8, 2014 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  8. ED1

    Ted is 100% right wake up Republicans.

    March 8, 2014 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  9. B.

    Cruz is a gift to the Democrats, bar none!

    March 8, 2014 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  10. yerkiddinright

    I love Ted Cruz. He ensures a completely Democratic Senate and House in November. Keep it up Crazy Cruz!

    March 8, 2014 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  11. Rob

    Please never deport this guy back to Canada

    March 8, 2014 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  12. just me

    I wonder why he didn't mention Barry Goldwater? Perhaps because it doesn't fit neatly into his delusions.

    March 8, 2014 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  13. Proud American Lady

    Go, Ted Cruz! This country needs you in the White House. We're grateful for your courage to tell it like it is and stand up to the corrupt Obozo administration and RINOs. Both stink to high heaven and have got to go. Sure hope to see Ted Cruz run for Pres in 2016. He's got the vote of every member of our family. May God bless and keep him, and others like him.

    March 8, 2014 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  14. Thomas

    @Rick McDaniel
    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.
    Rick , are you posting from Moscow ?

    March 8, 2014 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  15. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    Every time I see a photo of Teddy, it reminds me of my boys when they were toddlers and thought trying to look sincere would get them out of being caught in a lie.

    Didn't work then – doesn't work now.


    March 8, 2014 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  16. Gurgyl

    This guy Ted Cruz is stupid, vicious. Just take away his immigration status, deport to Canada. His thinking level is zero.

    March 8, 2014 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  17. swisschesse

    I stopped voting because the GOP never accomplished anything for the Christian right. Everytime, they would get close, one or a few Republicans would side with the Democrats. They always have an excuse. Jan Brewer is a recent example.

    March 8, 2014 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  18. Vicki

    We will never kowtow to the Christian right. They are a part of the country, but will never be the ruling part of this nation. Catholics can be Democrats and many are. We are not ever going to be only Christian right. We are a nation that accepts people and all are free to worship as they please. The Christian Right is all wrong for America and we reject them as an example of how people should be as Christians.

    March 8, 2014 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  19. Thom

    You see Mr. Cruz, when you stand for something that only 10% of the country stands behind, as you do, you stand for're a footnote and always will be.

    March 8, 2014 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  20. david saint

    lol we're still waiting for a SINGLE idea from Cruz period! He hasnt done anything but shut the govt down and cost us billions!

    March 8, 2014 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  21. Thom

    Mr. Cruz, let me tell you what the GOP stands for, and why they will never win the White House again. They stand for making the rich richer and the middle class poorer. The stand for taking rights away from women, Gays, blacks, Hispanics, the poor and The Homeless. They stand for taking about Jesus, but not acting like Jesus. They stand for less Government which means higher unemployment and they stand for less Government in our lives.....unless of course when it comes to their 3 pet peeves, abortion, Gay Marriage, and Healthcare. You're against 70% of the country there fellow. All the money in the world won't buy you an election with 7-3 odds against you.

    March 8, 2014 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  22. Technophile50

    What she really said was"'As he noted in his speech, the Senator greatly respects these men, particularly the heroic military service of Sens. Dole and McCain,despite their apparent inabiity to stand on principles when running for President' she said in a statement. 'Suggesting anything otherwise is just an unnecessary distraction from the fact that Republicns will continue to lose elections as long as we nominate spineless will o' the wisps like these, uh, heroes. The Senator will not hesitate to talk about substantive matters of conservative uncompromising principle that are important to bringing Republicans to victory – even if other wishy-washy RINOs may get their feelings hurt..'

    Don'tcha jut hate it whne the lamestream meadia tries to tone down the scorched earth take no prisoners messaging that Republicans need to win elections?

    March 8, 2014 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  23. TM

    Cruz stand for NOTHING beyond his own perverted views and his narrow personal political success. Perhaps he should just sit down and shut up for a few months and do his job.

    March 8, 2014 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  24. Leeza

    I love this man and he is so right on this. The truth obviously hurts.

    March 8, 2014 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  25. CryBabies

    Thunk a What......How touching. Got a give it to're a great whiner.

    March 9, 2014 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
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