“Ted Cruz has every right, as best we can tell, to run for president, even though he was born in Canada to a Cuban father,” the Houston Chronicle editorial leads off.
“We’re happy he's the first of several potential candidates with Texas ties,” the paper’s editorial board continues. “We're not so happy about his disdain for 30 million Texans he was elected to represent just a couple of years ago.”
It has not always been this way. The Chronicle, which tends to lean left, actually endorsed Cruz in the general election of his 2012 Senate race, dubbing him “one of the shooting stars of the 2012 election season” and praising him for being “thoughtful, energetic, and dynamic.” But the paper withdrew its imprimatur during the partial government shutdown in 2013, saying Cruz had become “part of the problem.” That editorial drew national coverage, and the board then wrote a follow-up blog post clarifying that it wasn’t technically un-endorsing the senator, just very, very annoyed at him.
This latest editorial, though, does not seem open to backsies. It argues that he isn’t interested in what’s best for Texas and that he “isn’t in Washington to get things done for his state.”
“It’s no secret that he's been running for president since the day he was elected—or maybe since he was a 15-year-old memorizing the U.S. Constitution at Houston’s Second Baptist High School,” the editorial reads. “But his declared candidacy in 2012 was for the Senate, not the White House.”
The Chronicle’s harshness has some Cruz supporters baffled.
Tyler Norris, an Austin Republican consultant and former aide on Cruz’s 2012 Senate race, said the reference to Cruz’s father’s background “smacks of the bizarre, dog-whistle politics the Chronicle piously professes to abhor.”
“In describing his Cuban father,” Norris notes, “they should probably credit Cruz’s American mother Eleanor for raising a U.S. senator and presidential candidate as well.”