When Ted Cruz officially launched his presidential bid on Monday, he joined the ranks of a group with a dismal recent track record. No other first-in candidate has won the presidency in the past 15 years, and only one, Al Gore, has even clinched a party nomination.
“It has nothing to do with getting in first. It has to do with, most of the time, the establishment candidates get nominated by both parties,” said Howard Dean, the former Vermont governor whose launch of an exploratory committee early two years before the 2004 election helped him lay the groundwork to achieve frontrunner status, even if it was short-lived. “It’s a function of the fact that those who get in first are usually fighting an uphill battle from the beginning.”
After the theatrical launch of his presidential campaign Monday, Sen. Ted Cruz now faces a massive hurdle: raising the tens of millions of dollars it will take to mount a year-and-a-half long campaign.
The Texas Republican and tea party darling is months behind his competitors in recruiting the megadonors and bundlers essential to a credible GOP primary bid. He’s not well-liked among cash-flush lobbyists. And his uncompromising policy positions and role in forcing the government shutdown in 2013 didn’t exactly excite the financiers and business executives who make up the elite donor class. Those considerations, along with the need to capture attention in a crowded field of conservatives, contributed to the decision to become the first Republican to formally enter the race.Manu Raju reports that John Cornyn is not endorsing Cruz, proving that the world is round.
“You know, we’ve got a lot of Texans who are running for president, so I’m going to watch from the sidelines,” Cornyn said when asked if he would back Cruz. (Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry is considering a run as well.)
Cornyn denied his position was retribution for Cruz’s refusal to back him during his Senate primary last year.