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“Senator Cruz was in politics in 2012, trying to pass himself off as the greatest conservative in the world,” Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey said in 2017. “What I said at the time, in him and everyone, was if you represent a coastal state, don’t do that, because your day will come.

In the end, he was another man who would succeed in leveraging Mr. Cruz’s trademark fire tactics for the presidency. After a 2016 primary campaign in which he called Mr. Trump a “pathological liar”, a “serial runner”, a “totally amoral” conspirator and a peerless narcissist, Mr. Cruz embarked on a extensive reputational repair campaign aimed at wooing support the new president and the conservative base that supported him.

Mr. Cruz’s ability to seemingly put aside some deeply personal insults – Mr. Trump suggested that Mr. Cruz’s wife was unattractive and implied without evidence that her father was involved in the murder of John F. shameless political postures. This year, he led the charge to reverse Mr. Trump’s electoral loss, promoting his baseless allegations of fraud and perpetuating Tory fantasies of a stolen election. Last week, he defended the former president’s speech at his rally ahead of the Capitol riot on January 6, saying his words were not an impenetrable offense.

“Until Donald Trump came along, this guy was the biggest interpreter of conservative politics,” said Julián Castro, former San Antonio mayor and housing secretary. “He was the one who was trying to position himself as the identity of the conservative moment.”

Mr Castro added: “He presents himself as a fake and he shows much more concern with himself than anyone.”

Texas Democrats like Mr. Castro saw new opportunities in the trip to Cancun, quickly calling for Mr. Cruz to step down. Republican state officials, many of whom were sitting in their own cold homes, have remained largely silent.

“Frankly, I haven’t been following people’s vacation plans,” Gov. Greg Abbott told reporters at a press conference Thursday.


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