I’ve been saying over the last week or so that Ted Cruz’ ranting and raving over Obamacare was about nothing more than bringing in campaign contributions and positioning himself as the One True Conservative in the 2016 presidential race. Two Buzzfeed reporters say it could actually do the opposite:
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s quixotic campaign to defund Obamacare — currently culminating in an hours-long quasi-filibuster on the Senate floor — has caused conservative activists across the country to swoon.
But one key contingent of the Republican Party is decidedly unimpressed with the gambit: big-ticket donors.
According to several Republican sources, most of whom declined to disparage a rising star on the record, the party’s donor class is rolling its eyes at Cruz’s last-minute, long-shot attempt to keep the controversial health care law from fully going into effect — dismissing it as unintelligible parliamentary trickery at best, and counterproductive self-promotion at worst.
Cruz, who most Republicans believe is positioning himself for a 2016 presidential run, will need the support of at least a portion of the party’s moneyed donors to stay competitive in a primary. But skeptics say he’s running the risk of being seen as unserious by the same people he will need to write him checks in a couple of years.
“Sure, he’s revving up the base, but so did Michele Bachmann and Pat Buchanan,” said one longtime Republican strategist who has worked on multiple state and national campaigns. “If you’re serious about running for president… you need the serious money, more than the direct mail crowd and the small money donors.”
“That,” the Republican said, “is the difference between winning the Iowa Caucus and winning in a serious state like Florida.”
That’s a pretty compelling argument.