Cruz Doesn't Take Chance to Bless Dump Trump Movement
Also, there's more movement with super PACs formerly supportive of Cruz's presidential hopefuls and the Texas senator makes a couple of endorsements in Senate races.
Should delegates to the Republican National Convention have a chance to dump presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump?
One of his former rivals, Ted Cruz, is not saying either way.
The U.S. senator from Texas was asked Monday if delegates should stop organizing against Trump, an effort that appears to be gaining momentum as the billionaire stumbles through the first few weeks of the general election.
"What the delegates do is a decision for the delegates," Cruz said in an interview with the Denver Post. "I'm not an elected delegate, so I'm going to let the delegates come to their own conclusions about what they should do at the convention."
The comments are unlikely to deter Cruz supporters who are hoping to keep Trump from securing the nomination at the convention, which is being held next month in Cleveland. Some anti-Trump delegates want a change in rules there that would allow delegates to not vote for Trump due to "conscience" concerns.
The most controversial super PAC supporting Ted Cruz is no more.
Keep the Promise II filed paperwork Monday that terminated the group, refunding nearly $9 million to founding donor Toby Neugebauer. The energy investor had rankled some Cruz allies with his reluctance to spend the $10 million he had initially deposited into the super PAC.
Keep the Promise II started out as one of four groups under the Keep the Promise umbrella. Some pro-Cruz super PACs were ultimately consolidated into a single vehicle known as Trusted Leadership PAC, which still has $425,000 in the bank, according to a disclosure made Monday with the FEC.
Neugebauer now supports Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee. It remains unclear how involved Neugebauer will be in fundraising for Trump.
On a semi-related note, another super PAC that supported Cruz is getting a makeover now that he is out of the presidential race.
Keep the Promise I filed paperwork Wednesday with the Federal Election Commission to change its name to Make America Number 1. The newly named group, according to its website, is "dedicated to supporting conservative principles, upholding the rule of law, and opposing ethically challenged candidates."
The first project of Make America Number 1 is "Defeat Crooked Hillary," a reference to presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump's nickname for Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. Bloomberg Politics reported Wednesday morning that New York hedge-fund magnate Robert Mercer is launching Make America Number 1 as a way of exclusively attacking Clinton in hopes of appealing to donors skeptical of Trump.
As of May 31, the super PAC had $1.3 million cash on hand. Mercer gave $11 million to start the super PAC last year.
Cruz waded late last week into the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in Colorado, throwing his support behind an anti-establishment crusader much like himself.
Cruz's endorsement of Darryl Glenn, a county commissioner, is one of his first forays into down-ballot races since bowing out of the presidential race last month.
"He is a constitutional conservative with the experience to understand what it takes to bring back economic growth and preserve our individual liberties," Cruz said in a statement. "I am confident he will go to Washington to fight for those values, and he won't back down."
Glenn is vying with four other GOP rivals for the chance to take on U.S. Sen. Michael Bennett. He is considered one of the most endangered Democratic Senate incumbents this election cycle.
Cruz is putting himself in familiar company by endorsing Glenn. He is also being backed by the Senate Conservatives Fund, which has a history of working against the preferred candidates of Republican leadership in down-ballot races.
That wasn’t the only endorsement made by Cruz in the past few days.
The Texas senator announced Wednesday morning that he is supporting U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, in his bid for re-election.
“Marco Rubio is a friend and has been an ally in many battles we have fought together in the Senate," Cruz, Rubio's Senate colleague from Texas, said in a statement. "I'm glad to support him in his bid for re-election."
Earlier Wednesday morning, Rubio reversed his long-held decision not to seek re-election this year, a pledge he made while running for president against Cruz and Donald Trump, now the presumptive GOP nominee. Both Cruz, who is running for re-election in 2018, and Rubio are already eying another shot at the White House in 2020.
"Marco is a tremendous communicator and a powerful voice for the American Dream," Cruz said. "At this time of great challenges, we very much need strong leaders in the Senate who will fight to restore economic growth, to defend our constitutional liberties, and to ensure a strong national security for our nation."
And on Thursday, Cruz made an endorsement in next month's GOP Senate runoff in Georgia.
He threw his support behind Mike Crane, a state senator vying for the Republican nomination in Georgia's 3rd congressional district. He is in a July 26 runoff, hoping to ultimately succeed retiring GOP Rep. Lynn Westmoreland.
Crane is a familiar face for Cruz, having served as a co-chair of Cruz's presidential campaign in Georgia.
And in a final Cruz note, the candidate may have dropped out of the presidential race on May 3, but that did not stop his campaign from raising $2.7 million last month.
That's according to a campaign finance report filed Monday with the Federal Election Commission that accounts for the final three days the U.S. senator from Texas spent in the race. The disclosure also shows Cruz's campaign spent $5.2 million in May and ended the month with $6.8 million in the bank.
Ironically enough, Cruz's campaign has more than five times more cash on hand than the campaign of the man who beat him: Donald Trump, whose campaign reported Wednesday that it has only $1.3 million in the bank.
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