White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney acknowledged Saturday that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) might lose his bid for reelection this year, and that hatred of President Donald Trump could hurt Republicans across the country.
“You may hate the president, and there’s a lot of people who do, but they certainly like the way the country is going,” Mulvaney told donors at a private event in New York City, the New York Times reported Saturday.
“If you figure out a way to subtract from that equation how they feel about the president, the numbers go up dramatically,” he added.
The Times obtained a recording of Mulvaney and GOP chairwoman Ronna McDaniel’s remarks at the event from an attendee, the paper said.
“It does cost, right now, more money to engage our voters, to get them knowledge of the election,” McDaniel said, referring to the Democratic Party. “They have their energy. We have our infrastructure.”
“There’s a very real possibility we will win a race for Senate in Florida and lose a race in Texas for Senate, O.K.?” Mulvaney said separately. “I don’t think it’s likely, but it’s a possibility. How likable is a candidate? That still counts.”
Cruz — who, according to recent polling, is in a close race with Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) — responded to the paper: “I don’t worry about what some political guy in Washington says, I worry about what the people of Texas say.”
Mulvaney also indicated that Trump continues to dwell on the surprise victory of Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) last year over accused child molester Roy Moore.
“The president asks me all the time, ‘Why did Roy Moore lose?’” Mr. Mulvaney said. “That’s easy. He was a terrible candidate.”