POLITICS

Ted Cruz pushes back at 2016 rumors, but asks for campaign money

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke,Campaign Finance,Ted Cruz

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, poured cold water on a report that he’s interested in running for president in 2016 today, but his Senate campaign aides sent out a fundraising appeal to grassroots supporters.

“In my short tenure, my focus has been — and will remain — on two things: fighting for conservative principles in the Senate, and working to help elect strong conservatives to win a majority in the Senate in 2014,” Cruz wrote in a Facebook post. “I was elected because thousands of grassroots conservatives came together to protect the Constitution, shrink the federal government, and promote growth and opportunity. It is a continued source of amazement that the simple fact that I am working hard with like-minded Senators to keep my promise is seen as newsworthy and cause for wild speculation.”

National Review’s Robert Costa reported on the Texas freshman’s interest in the White House based on conversations with unnamed confidantes.

“They didn’t plan on having these presidential conversations so early in his first term,” Costa wrote in a column published today. “Yet Cruz’s rapid ascent and a flurry of entreaties from conservative leaders have stoked their interest — and Cruz’s.”

His Senate campaign fundraising team asked donors to contribute $50 or more in a message sent out late yesterday afternoon.

“Senator Cruz has been taking some heat recently for calling out his Republican colleagues for being squishes,” Michelle Lupton, Cruz’s 2012 campaign finance director, wrote in the email. “Senator Cruz will work will anyone willing to take a stand for the Second Amendment, Obamacare repeal and spending cuts. With your help, we can amplify Ted’s voice for conservative values and tip the scales for liberty.”

Cruz isn’t up for reelection until 2018. Under campaign finance law, money raised for one federal election (such as a Senate campaign) can be transferred to another federal election (such as a presidential bid).

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