Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, doesn’t believe governors have an advantage over senators when it comes to winning the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.
“It’s an advantage only if you think that the American people are looking for someone who is not standing up and leading on the great challenges of the day,” Cruz said Monday in an appearance on the "Mark Levin Show." Cruz’s comments come as several Republican governors and former governors are considering running for president.
That includes Jeb Bush of Florida, Chris Christie of New Jersey, Scott Walker of Wisconsin, and John R. Kasich of Ohio. Cruz's colleagues who may run include Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Rand Paul, R-Ky.
“We do see a fair number of governors who are taking a pass on the great challenges facing us right now,” Cruz said. “And here’s what I hope. By any measure there are a lot of folks … that are thinking of running for president in ’16, both governors and senators. What I’ve urged every one of them is … the number one way to demonstrate that you should be the nominee is to stand up and lead … stand up for free market principles, stand up for the Constitution, stand up for American leadership in the world.”
Cruz believes someone with a conservative message will win the nomination and general election.
“If you look at Republican nominees that have gone on to win the presidency they have done so consistently by running as strong conservatives with a positive optimistic hopeful messages,” Cruz said, urging candidates to stay away from what he dubs the “mushy middle.”
Some observers, including former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott , R-Miss., believe it is the governors with the advantage.
“I think the American people really will be looking for a governor,” Lott said last month when asked about the issue. “I don’t think any of our senators are really going to be that viable in 2016, partially because you vote every day and your record can be twisted around your neck every day.”
Correction, 11:50 p.m. An earlier version of this post misquoted Cruz in what seemed to be a reference to the Bush family.
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