Cruzin' for a Bruzin'
It's no secret that Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has few friends in Washington, but now there seems to be an exceptional amount of energy on Capitol Hill devoted to criticizing him — especially after he introduced an amendment that would bar any immigrant in the United States illegally from gaining citizenship. "There's not much I agree with Ted Cruz on," said Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, after the Congressional Hispanic Caucus met with a delegation of young immigrants advocating for family reunification. But it's not just Hispanics who are frustrated with Cruz. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called him a "schoolyard bully" after the Texan objected to Reid's attempts to move toward a conference committee to reconcile the House and Senate budgets. Cruz is unfazed. "I think most Americans are not really interested in petty political squabbles between politicians in Washington," he told National Journal.
Rep. John Barrow of Georgia announced this week he won't run for the Senate, leaving his party in a pinch. Barrow, as a moderate Blue Dog Democrat, was one of the few candidates who could put the Senate seat being vacated by Republican Saxby Chambliss in play. Without him, party leaders are looking at candidates with less-proven appeal to win crossover voters — a necessity in the conservative Southern state. Barrow's decision spotlights a broader challenge for Senate Democrats: They don't have candidates yet for three winnable Republican-held seats in Maine, Kentucky, and Georgia. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, despite running in an Obama-friendly state, has managed to keep her approval ratings high enough to dissuade any challengers. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, having dodged an Ashley Judd candidacy, is waiting for Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes to make her decision. And even though Democratic officials expected Georgia to be a top pickup opportunity, they acknowledge their path to victory is difficult without Barrow.