By JAVIER MANJARRES
Cruz has even garnered several nicknames such as “Senator No” “Cruz Missile” and the GOP’s “Nasty Newcomer,” all of which he should consider badges of honor given that these nicknames originate from detractors who are focused on disparaging his name rather than engaging his principled conservative message.
Some conservatives and tea party-types within the Republican party are painting Cruz as the “anti-Rubio,” as some feel that Rubio is trying position himself as more of a “maverick” on certain issues like immigration reform and has been seen cozying up to moderate-establishment Republicans such as Senators Lindsay Graham and John McCain in advance of a potential 2016 presidential run.
As increasing numbers of people who’ve become familiar with both Cruz and Rubio know that they are both of Cuban descent, the truth of the matter is that while the two share some very conservative core beliefs, the two men are also different in their approach both stylistically and tactically.
For example, Cruz speaks from the gut, whereas Rubio is more measured and very careful with his words, as Rubio now exists in a petri dish that receives intense scrutiny on a daily basis.
Towards the beginning of his first term the Senate, Rubio stated that he would not be joining the Senate Tea Party Caucus, disappointing many conservatives who saw that it was the Tea Party movement that was largely responsible for helping Rubio’s victory. On the other hand, Cruz has not embraced the Tea Party at every opportunity support away as Rubio has appeared to have (just a reminder that Rubio’s explanation for not joining the Tea Party Caucus was legit), and conservatives have been thrilled with Cruz’ performance since he was sworn into office in January.(Senator Rubio questions need for the Senate Tea Party Caucus -Video)
Rubio’s tip-toeing around certain issues and recent political posturing with Republican moderates and Democrats have left many wondering if he will remain on the proverbial “straight and narrow” and continue to espouse conservative principles- will it be Cruz or Rubio who takes the conservative mantle and runs with it to the head of the party?