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Ted Cruz embraces Trump ahead of re-election

Up for a second Senate term in Texas this year, "Lyin' Ted" Cruz, as President Donald Trump nicknamed him, is suddenl...

Posted: Feb 23, 2018 8:40 AM
Updated: Feb 23, 2018 8:40 AM

Up for a second Senate term in Texas this year, "Lyin' Ted" Cruz, as President Donald Trump nicknamed him, is suddenly Trump's biggest fan.

Faced with a potentially tough re-election battle against Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke, Cruz has used recent public appearances -- including a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday -- to embrace Trump, stake out hard-line positions in debates over gun control and immigration, and antagonize Democrats.

On Thursday, he even invoked "The Simpsons."

"The Democrats are the party of Lisa Simpson," Cruz said of the know-it-all character. "And Republicans are happily the party of Homer, Bart, Maggie and Marge."

Cruz's moves underscore his view of the upcoming midterm elections as a duel of the party's bases -- and whichever turns out more of its voters wins.

That means turning out Trump's supporters.

The senator Trump had once called "Lyin' Ted" on Thursday heaped praise on the President's first year in office.

"On substance, the record of delivering has been remarkable," he said.

He also embraced Trump's opposition to stricter gun laws, accusing Democrats of politicizing the issue after the mass shooting last week at a high school in Parkland, Florida -- as well as the President's call to arm teachers.

"Every time you see a horrific crime, people in the media and Democratic politicians immediately try to leap on it to advance their agenda, and their agenda is stripping Second Amendment rights from law-abiding citizens," Cruz said, adding that confiscating guns is "where they want to end up."

"I think it makes perfect sense that if teachers want to exercise their right to keep and bear arms, it will only make schools safer," he said.

It all sounds like something of a 180-degree turn for Cruz, who used his speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention to urge Americans to vote their consciences -- effectively extending permission to break with the party's presidential nominee.

Cruz has had Trump's back outside the Washington area as well.

In Dallas last weekend, Cruz aligned himself with Trump on special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, saying investigators had found no evidence of collusion, an inaccurate claim with the investigation still underway.

"On the face of these indictments, they say that the American side of it was unwitting -- that there was not collusion. That's pretty significant," he told reporters.

Cruz has also staked out ground to the right of Trump on some issues.

He pleased immigration hard-liners this month by casting the Senate's lone vote against opening a debate on three competing bills that would give "Dreamers" a path to legal status, all of which were voted down.

Cruz's moves could even come at the risk of his future presidential prospects: He angered Iowa Republicans by blocking Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey for a federal agriculture post, citing ethanol regulations that he says harm oil refineries.

The Iowa Republican Party's central committee approved a resolution urging Cruz to withdraw his hold on Northey's nomination. State GOP chairman Jeff Kaufmann sent Cruz a letter warning that should he "wish to remain in good standing with Iowa Republicans," he must release his hold on Northey and "end the political points he is attempting to gain in an election year."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 484675

Reported Deaths: 9480
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison33151493
Hinds31184589
DeSoto30803365
Jackson23735349
Rankin21390373
Lee14963221
Madison14206272
Jones13430227
Forrest13199241
Lauderdale11623307
Lowndes10501176
Lamar10258130
Pearl River9151221
Lafayette8268137
Hancock7534113
Washington7144152
Oktibbeha6989124
Monroe6533167
Neshoba6489201
Warren6486166
Pontotoc632993
Panola6278127
Marshall6165126
Bolivar6129145
Union576089
Pike5626138
Alcorn540590
Lincoln5310132
George473572
Scott461596
Leflore4495140
Tippah448180
Prentiss447979
Itawamba4457100
Adams4429117
Tate4420103
Wayne434667
Simpson4339114
Copiah432988
Yazoo423686
Covington417192
Sunflower4155104
Marion4111104
Coahoma3986100
Leake398286
Newton372375
Grenada3565104
Stone351360
Tishomingo338389
Attala325987
Jasper316062
Winston305691
Clay297374
Chickasaw287866
Clarke283290
Calhoun267741
Holmes262887
Smith252249
Yalobusha224347
Tallahatchie221150
Walthall211758
Greene209945
Lawrence207034
Perry201054
Amite199452
Webster196942
Noxubee179339
Montgomery172954
Jefferson Davis168342
Carroll162537
Tunica154235
Benton143035
Kemper138840
Choctaw128826
Claiborne127134
Humphreys127038
Franklin116928
Quitman104227
Wilkinson102036
Jefferson91533
Sharkey63020
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 790648

Reported Deaths: 14025
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1117431765
Mobile709021237
Madison50032633
Shelby36350315
Baldwin36278495
Tuscaloosa34034548
Montgomery33229678
Lee22712220
Calhoun21297410
Morgan19852335
Etowah19341462
Marshall17716274
Houston16862386
St. Clair15479305
Cullman14659258
Limestone14609188
Elmore14507264
Lauderdale13557281
Talladega13015236
DeKalb12214237
Walker10604330
Blount9735157
Autauga9691137
Jackson9400158
Coffee8934175
Dale8631173
Colbert8545184
Tallapoosa6688181
Escambia6599121
Covington6466167
Chilton6395144
Russell608755
Franklin5805101
Chambers5425134
Marion4818120
Dallas4713189
Clarke464079
Pike463297
Geneva4433117
Winston427395
Lawrence4124108
Bibb410281
Barbour347470
Marengo326485
Monroe320253
Butler318490
Randolph306656
Pickens306474
Henry302658
Hale293085
Cherokee290855
Fayette280373
Washington245548
Crenshaw238770
Cleburne236751
Clay229265
Macon220658
Lamar200443
Conecuh182046
Coosa170835
Lowndes170858
Wilcox159736
Bullock149543
Perry136537
Sumter124736
Greene121443
Choctaw73427
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Mostly Cloudy
77° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 79°
Columbus
Mostly Cloudy
80° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 83°
Oxford
Partly Cloudy
73° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 73°
Starkville
Mostly Cloudy
75° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 75°
Little bits and pieces of low pressure move back into our area over the next several days. This will bring back into our weather forecast some more chances for some isolated to scattered showers and thunderstorms.
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