REID PILLIFANT | Capital New York
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas will headline the annual fund-raising dinner for the New York Republican Party on May 29, according to an invitation circulated by the party today.
The news was first reported by Maggie Haberman of Politico.
It’ll probably be a very different speech than the one Cruz delivered to a Tea Party rally last week, when he talked about how his Republican colleagues were angry with him for threatening to filibuster a vote on the guns bill.
Cruz said a colleague told him that he was making all of them “look like a bunch of squishes.“
“Well, there is an alternative,” Cruz said he replied. “You could just not be a bunch of squishes.”
Also on the program for Cruz’s speech is the state’s Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, who has proven himself to be a little more flexible than Cruz in his dealings with state Democrats.
Skelos helped pass a same-sex marriage bill in 2011, and a host of new gun laws earlier this year–two causes that Cruz rather vehemently opposes. (Sen. Chuck Schumer was once hopeful he could find a “sweet spot” on background checks, where he and Cruz could agree, but by the end of the debate, Schumer was audibly laughing at Cruz on the Senate floor.)
Cruz also voted against the bills providing for Hurricane Sandy aid, saying they were “a Christmas tree for billions in unrelated spending.” The dean of New York’s congressional delegation, Rep. Peter King, has criticized Republicans who voted “no” on Sandy aid for trying to raise money in New York, calling them “disgraceful.” (A spokesman for King did not immediately return an email for comment.)
Cruz’s obstinate conservatism, and his willingness to dress down his more senior colleagues, has helped him craft an outsized national profile in just a few short months in Washington, and has some conservatives talking him up for a 2016 run.
Last year’s guest at the annual G.O.P. dinner was Bobby Jindal, who’s taken a more moderate path to 2016, saying Republicans shouldn’t be the “stupid party.”
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