During a 26-minute speech at the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce breakfast, the once gloves-off, unapologetic Tea Party Republican seemed to have gone soft. There was no fiery speech filled with impassioned attacks against President Barack Obama. His lips never uttered a word about Trump, his former primary nemesis. Instead, he was almost reflective when he made his only comment about the current climate of politics clouded by Trump, a candidate who will say anything. Cruz said he finds it all very strange.
"It's a strange political season right now," Cruz told the crowd, according to the Texas Tribune. "I don't know what's going to happen nationally in the political season, but I do know as a country, we need a return to common sense. We need a return to common-sense values that have built Texas, that have built San Antonio." Cruz, however, has been anything but common-sense since being elected to the Senate in 2012.
There was that time in 2013 when he shut down the government for 16 days in a misguided effort to stop Obamacare. Or there was that time he tried to cook bacon on a machine gun in a campaign ad. He's known for clashing with colleagues and trying to take credit for work he didn't do, like how he tried yesterday to take credit for a bill Sen. John Cornyn passed that awarded Purple Hearts to the victims of the 2009 Fort Hood shooting, as the San Antonio Express-News reported. In fact, his antics have come to be so reviled by many of his colleagues in Washington D.C. that former Speaker of the House John Boehner called him "Lucifer in the flesh" and a "miserable son of a bitch."
Cruz instead told the chamber that he represents the values that have built Texas, like jobs and security. He briefly mentioned current events, saying the country needs better leadership against the Islamic State and Iran, the Tribune reported. It seemed yesterday that the once untamable Cruz may now be tamed.
His appearance in San Antonio is his attempt to get back in touch with his constituents during a week long tour of the state, which is probably wise considering Democrats are already floating names like Congressman Joaquin Castro and former Texas Senator Wendy Davis. He's also facing a possible challenge from within as speculation mounts, at the urging of Trump supporters, that Rep. Michael McCaul is considering challenging Cruz for his seat in 2018.