Republican establishment strategist Mike Murphy, who is close to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Mitt Romney and favors candidates like them, slammed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), saying he would be a disaster in a general election like George McGovern was for Democrats in 1972.
Murphy told National Review that though Cruz may win the nomination if he chooses to run because he appeals so strongly to conservatives, but he would not win a general election. In Murphy’s eyes, conservatives that support Cruz are not “regular Republicans” like McCain and Romney, both of whom lost general elections.
“These days, there are are two silos of the Republican party: the regular Republicans, if you will, and the movement-conservative coalition that’s united by anti-establishment rhetoric and populism,” he said. “If Cruz runs, he is going to be the strongest candidate in that movement-conservative silo. He’s charismatic and highly intelligent and says what the base wants to hear. He could maybe even win the nomination, and on the way, he’d be a huge obstacle to Santorum, Huckabee, and Paul. But he’d be a disaster in a general election–a Republican George McGovern.”
During the 2012 election cycle, Murphy went out of his way to label conservative candidates who threatened Romney as the Republican versions of McGovern, doing so on programs like NBC’s Meet The Press.
Romney, Murphy’s preferred candidate, lost, but that has not stopped Murphy from again leading the charge against and trying to damage conservatives like Cruz while at the same time arguing that Republicans need to be more united.
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