Early in the day yesterday, the National Review ran a story claiming that Ted Cruz was set to roll out the endorsements of four US senators. The news was taken as a sign that the party was ready to begin coalescing around him as Marco Rubio fades.
The story, while thin, was still seen as a major development. Especially since it’s long been well-established that, as far as his Senate colleagues are concerned, Ted Cruz has no friends.
As they reported:
Cruz has until now failed to earn the endorsement of any of his fellow senators, a fact that Donald Trump has beaten him over the head with. But as many see Marco Rubio’s prospects dimming, some members of the upper chamber are beginning to make peace with Cruz, convinced that he’s the only candidate who can stop Trump. If Rubio can’t clinch his home state of Florida on March 15, yet more may come forward to back the devil they know.
As it turns out, Ted Cruz hasn’t actually picked up any new friends. Later in the day, the Review was forced to issue a correction. You see, Ted Cruz still hasn’t made any new friends in the Senate:
An earlier post stated that Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign was set to unveil a series of endorsements from Cruz’s fellow senators. The report was erroneous. As of this writing, the campaign has no pending Senate endorsements to announce.
A major conservative publication walking back a report that Ted Cruz was set to receive his first endorsements from any of his colleagues is one of the most narrative-confirming events to take place this campaign since Marco Rubio sat in a chair that was wayyyyyy too big for him. There was a point long ago in this campaign where Cruz, who is universally disliked in the Senate, could have emerged as a credible anti-Trump candidate if only the establishment had been willing to back him. They didn’t. Now, faced in a similar, more hopeless situation, the establishment is again holding out for Rubio when Cruz is increasingly becoming their only hope.
The next time someone in Washington mumbles to a reporter that Ted Cruz has friends, they’re going to want to triple check.