The Big Conversation
Ted Cruz ended his presidential campaign Tuesday night, soon after the results from the Indiana primaries showed that he was absorbing a crushing defeat there at the hands of Donald Trump.
“I said that I would continue on as long as there was a viable path to victory," the Texas senator told supporters, as reported by the Tribune's Patrick Svitek. "Tonight I am sorry to say that it appears that path has foreclosed.”
Until Tuesday night, the Cruz campaign hadn't indicated it planned to immediately leave the race, even releasing details on further rallies this week. However, Cruz had gone all in on his push to win in Indiana, and a loss there significantly narrowed his options to win the nomination at a contested convention this summer.
With Cruz now out, the question becomes what's next for the senator who, it must be remembered, is still in just his first term in the U.S. Senate.
"And when he returns to the Senate with two and a half years left in his freshman term, he will enter hostile territory," wrote the Tribune's Abby Livingston. "There is no way around it: The actions he took over the course of his presidential campaign only further frayed Cruz's strained relationships with colleagues."
The conventional wisdom, Livingston wrote, is that Cruz runs for re-election in 2018.
"A second term could prove appealing to Cruz," Livingston wrote. "Most obviously, it is hard to run for president as an out-of-office candidate. .... The Senate also gives Cruz a platform to play a foil to a potential Clinton or Trump presidency."
“Maybe he gets another shot,” [Texas GOP consultant Brendan] Steinhauser told the Tribune. “He needs to focus on being a senator, and he comes back after four years of Hillary or four years of Trump.”
Trib Must Reads
Analysis: Texas Political Influence Nosedives in National Campaign, by Ross Ramsey — Not only did all of the Texas-connected candidates get knocked around in the race for president, the ideas that have propelled Texas Republicans for the last two decades — ideas like federalism and social conservatism — have taken a hit, too.
Paxton Uses State Protection for Frequent North Texas Trips, by Morgan Smith and Terri Langford — For the past year, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has used taxpayer-funded security teams and drivers to travel at least twice and as many as four times a month to North Texas where he has a home and businesses, according to records obtained by The Texas Tribune.
Eagle Ford Town's Residents Disgusted by Waste Site's Approval, by Jim Malewitz — The Texas Railroad Commission approved a permit for a huge oil and gas waste facility outside of tiny Nordheim, ending one of the first organized protests against industry activity in South Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale.
State Sued for Licensing Detention Center, by Madlin Mekelburg — A nonprofit organization has sued the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services for issuing a temporary child-care license to an immigration detention facility that hold women and children from Central America.
Court: Restrictions on Inmates' Beards Violates Federal Law, by Johnathan Silver — A New Orleans-based appeals court says the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's restrictions on beard lengths and religious head garments for inmates violate federal law.
In Indiana, Cruz Mocks Trump's "Battles with Venereal Disease", by Patrick Svitek — Bracing for a devastating loss in the Indiana primary, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz is throwing everything but the kitchen sink at frontrunner Donald Trump.
Abbott Appoints Longtime Aide to Lead Health Commission, by Edgar Walters — Charles Smith, a longtime ally of Gov. Greg Abbott, will be the next executive commissioner of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, the governor announced Tuesday.
The Day Ahead
• The Senate Business & Commerce Committee holds an interim hearing at 9 a.m. in the Capitol extension with a focus on legislation passed last year intended to address medical balance billing.
• The Senate subcommittee on border security also meets at 9 a.m. in the Capitol extension. On the agenda is an examination of a potential interstate compact on border security.
• A Senate select committee on Texas ports holds an interim hearing at 11:30 a.m. in the Capitol extension. Part of the hearing will focus on the impact of the Panama Canal expansion on Texas ports.
CPS hasn’t checked on thousands of Texas children in imminent danger of abuse, records show, The Dallas Morning News
Halliburton, Baker Hughes chart separate futures, Houston Chronicle
Tarrant County hires firm to sue Chesapeake over royalty payments, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Voter turnout heavy on Prop 1 as early voting wraps up, Austin American-Statesman
Pro-Cruz Super PAC Plays Offense in Indiana, Center for Public Integrity
Dems want probe into GOP chief of staff politicking claim, Houston Chronicle
New immigration fight looms in Congress, Politico
Vista Ridge water will cost less than expected, SAWS says, San Antonio Express-News
Quote to Note
“Ted Cruz’s theory of the race was that conservatives were angry. It turns out that everyone was angry.”
— Ben Domenech, the publisher of the conservative online journal The Federalist, on what got Cruz got wrong in his bid for the White House, which ended Tuesday
Today in TribTalk
Republicans must unite behind Trump to defeat Hillary Clinton, by Dan Patrick — I invite all patriots and conservatives to join me as we move forward, heal our disagreements and unite to defeat Hillary Clinton, whose candidacy looms as a grave threat to the future of our country. There is simply too much at stake for us to fail to come together.
Donald Trump is the death of the Republican Party, by Jason Villalba — Others shall claim that we must unify in the name of the party. To them I would say: If Trump is the standard bearer of the party, then I am no longer a member.
News From Home
Trib Events for the Calendar
• A Conversation on Mental Health Matters on May 10 at KLRU Studio 6A in Austin
• A Conversation with Mike Morath, Texas Education Commissioner, on May 17 at The Austin Club
• A Conversation Series on the Direction of Health Care: Do We Have Enough Doctors?, on May 19 at the Medical World Americas Conference in Houston
• The Texas Tribune Festival on Sept. 23-25 at the University of Texas at Austin