2016: Rupert Murdoch Praises Jeb, Calls Romney ‘Terrible Candidate,’ Questions Cruz’s ‘Political Judgment’

Andy Kropa/Invision/AP
Andy Kropa/Invision/AP

On Wednesday, Rupert Murdoch reportedly praised Jeb Bush and slammed Mitt Romney and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) when asked about potential 2016 GOP presidential candidates.

At the Manhattan Institute, Murdoch, the News Corp/Fox Chair, reportedly said he does not have a favorite candidate yet while speaking highly of Bush.

“I like Jeb Bush very much,” Murdoch said, according to Politico.

Murdoch, who wrote an op-ed last year pushing for comprehensive amnesty legislation and an unlimited number of guest-worker visas for the tech industry after dining with White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, and Bush, who declared that illegal immigration is an “act of love,” share similar views on immigration.

When asked about Mitt Romney, who is considering a third run at the White House and would be Bush’s potential biggest rival on the establishment side of the bracket, Murdoch said he agreed with a Wall Street Journal editorial that “sort of lacerated Romney.”

“He had his chance, he mishandled it, you know? I thought Romney was a terrible candidate,” Murdoch reportedly said, adding that Romney won the nomination “by destroying every other Republican with his own money” but failed in the general election because average Americans only viewed him as someone who was “super rich.”

Murdoch reportedly said he personally likes Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and is “very impressed by his brain” and his “campaigning on the theory that Washington is too big.” But he expressed concerns about Paul’s foreign policy platform, which Murdoch reportedly said “is frankly a major issue.”

“I think he will do well enough to move the debate,” Murdoch reportedly said of Paul. “I don’t think he will win… I would be very surprised if he won the nomination.”

He also reportedly said that he “wouldn’t write off [New Jersey Governor] Chris Christie at all” and predicted Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker would “be an interesting candidate.”

When asked about Cruz, Murdoch described his meeting with him as “quite an experience” and said Cruz has “a record of very questionable political judgment, so we’ll see.”

The bipartisan permanent political class has often criticized Cruz for standing firm on conservative principles on a range of issues like amnesty and Obamacare instead of being co-opted by the political establishment.