With his early entry into the race for the hunt for the Republican nomination for president, Texas Senator Ted Cruz has become the talk of conservative radio. In fact, he is not just the talk of talk radio, but the toast of talk radio. Some feel that Cruz is winning the “talk show primary.”
As Politico recently noted, a host of some of the biggest names in talk radio are speaking very highly about Senator Cruz. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham, Hugh Hewitt, and others have all chimed in with glowing praise of the Texan.
Politico took the occasion of its review of talk radio’s Cruzmania to take a few pot shots at the senator. Calling him “universally despised by his Senate colleagues,” they further explained that the media has already “dismissed” him. The news site also hastened to point out that conservative talk radio has a bad track record of getting the nomination for their favorite conservative candidates.
Despite those qualifiers, Politico went on to detail some of the praise lavished on Cruz from some of the nation’s top talk radio hosts.
Still, it has to be said that not one of these radio talkers has yet endorsed anyone. Praise or no, talk radio hosts are saying that it is too early to make any endorsements. With Cruz being the only sure entrant into the race so far, there are an awful lot of other candidates that might potentially throw their hat in the ring. Some of these potential candidates are attractive to talk radio.
So, in that vein, all of the talk show hosts have been open to other candidates.
Limbaugh, for one, has been talking up Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in order to help the governor get more exposure. And both Rush and Mark Levin have often had Marco Rubio on their shows to speak to their vast audiences.
In fact, Levin was a big cheerleader for Rubio during the first term senator’s run for the upper chamber back in 2012. Levin has been proud of being the first national talk show host to announce that he was endorsing Rubio when he ran for the Senate against former Florida Governor Charlie Crist.
In mid-March, Levin again had Rubio on his show, and after he hung up with the Floridian, Levin was full of praise saying, “He is likable as hell… and he answers everything I ask him, everything. He doesn’t duck.” Levin continued assuring his audience, “And his position on immigration has obviously changed. It’s the security first position, and it is the security for a period of time position.”
As early as Jan. 31, even Glenn Beck was saying that he may have judged Rubio too harshly.
Further, all these radio talkers have repeatedly had Kentucky Senator Rand Paul on their shows and have been cordial and supportive of many of his ideas and initiatives.
Thus far, despite Politico’s attempt to portray talk radio as being all in for Cruz, each of the national conservative hosts are keeping their options open.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.