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Government/Politics

Lincoln Project To Focus Efforts On Ted Cruz

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TPR's Jerry Clayton had a conversation with Reed Galen, co-founder of the Lincoln Project. They spoke about the group's attention now turning to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

Jerry Clayton: In the run up to the 2020 election, the Lincoln Project, a political action committee, worked to help defeat Donald Trump. The group is made up mostly of Republican political strategists and advertising experts. Now that Biden has taken office, they've set their sights on a new target: Ted Cruz. Reed Galen is a co-founder of the Lincoln Project.

You made it clear that the Lincoln Project is going to go after Ted Cruz. What do you think it was that drove Ted Cruz to do what he did on Jan. 6?

Reed Galen: I think it was the same thing that's driven Cruz to do everything he's done throughout his career: blind ambition, and anything that he believes is in service to their ambition and his mind is a legitimate means to an end.

Clayton: Do you feel like maybe he was trying to get ahead of Josh Hawley?

Galen: I don't think he was trying to get ahead of Josh Hawley. In fact, I think it was the opposite. I think Hawley was ahead of him, and Cruz was jealous and worried that Hawley was going to take the mantle of the person who stood up for Trump in the United States Senate. Unfortunately for both of them or fortunately for both of them, depending on how you look at it, Donald Trump that following weekend, you know, did his song and dance with the Republican secretary of state of Georgia. And I think both Cruz and Hawley look pretty bad.

Clayton: Do you feel like Ted Cruz is helping to splinter the Republican Party at this point?

Galen: Let me say this, I don't think that Ted Cruz has been trying to splinter the Republican Party. I think he has been a wedge slowly but determinedly driving deeper and deeper into the party, going back all the way to 2012, 2013 when he was first elected and took office. So I think that this has been a long time coming. I think that he understood instinctively where the Republican Party was headed before Trump was, but wasn't able to sort of harness that populist anger and ardor because frankly, he's not a populist. (He) is a guy who Ivy League educated, very, very intelligent person probably looks down on a lot of the president's supporters, but is trying to convince them that he's really one of them.

Clayton: What are the chances that Cruz's own party will turn on him eventually?

Galen: I think they're pretty good. I don't know when it'll happen, but I think that we should understand that it's very rare that I will agree with Representative Matt Gates of Florida or Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, that both this week have said that the Republican Party is still the Trump Party. And they are absolutely right. It is Trump's party until and unless he decides he doesn't want anything else to do with it. I think the former president has made it clear that he has a lot of scores to settle in '21 and '22. And I think that Ted Cruz will try and stay ... as long as he can, because ultimately he wants to be the Republican nominee in 2024. I think unfortunately for him, trying to wrangle the Trump Republican Party is sort of like riding a tiger that's been fed Red Bull for two or three days. You might hold on for a little while, but eventually it's probably going to eat you.

Reed Galen served as deputy campaign manager for John McCain's presidential campaign and deputy campaign manager for Arnold Schwarzenegger's successful 2006 reelection campaign. He worked on both the 2000 and 2004 campaigns of President George W. Bush. He's originally from Dallas.

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