Houston Chronicle: Fikac: Senate hopeful Cruz casts himself as conservative warrior
By Peggy Fikac
At a packed tea party meeting at the Los Cucos restaurant in Kingwood, U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz got laughs when he called the venue a fitting one.
“I’m sure they would find it appropriate that we’re meeting in a restaurant called ‘cuckoos,’ because they think we’re nuts,” Cruz said. “They view what we’re doing with fear and apprehension, because it threatens their power.”
Cruz was talking about the Obama administration, but just as easily could have been referring to GOP regulars betting on well-heeled longtime Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in the race to replace Kay Bailey Hutchison.
The 41-year-old former Texas solicitor general has never held elected office and has neither the name identification nor huge financial resources of the deep-pocketed Dewhurst. The self-proclaimed conservative warrior is not without weapons, however.
While not a household name in Texas, Cruz is a favorite of the national conservative intellectual elite. He was the subject of a glowing cover story in the National Review, and has backing from national tea party and conservative figures, including former U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks group and a cadre of U.S. senators led by arch-conservative icon Jim DeMint, R-S.C.
Supporters at home include former state GOP chairman George Strake and George P. Bush, the politically involved nephew and grandson of former presidents.
He has reported $4 million in donations to his campaign, and outside groups report spending more than $1 million to support him or oppose Dewhurst.