Exclusive — Cruz’s New Book : Rove Thought Bush ’41 ‘Too Old to Have Good Judgment’

Jim Young/Reuters
Jim Young/Reuters

An exclusive excerpt from a new book by 2016 GOP presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), obtained by Breitbart News, shows that Cruz detailed how GOP establishment operative Karl Rove told him he thought former President George H.W. Bush was “too old” to have good enough judgment to make endorsements on his own.

Cruz’s new book, A Time For Truth: Reigniting the Promise of Americagoes on sale this coming Tuesday, June 30. In it, according to a summary document also obtained by Breitbart News, Cruz doesn’t disappoint—breaking tons of news and walking through his backstory and how he got to where he is. He focuses on what he thinks needs to happen to reinvigorate the United States, end back room deals in Congress, and get the U.S. government back to what it’s supposed to be doing: Representing Americans nationwide.

That’s why Cruz exposing Rove so harshly is significant. Rove has become something of a symbol of everything wrong with Washington—the face of those back room deals and the donor class, doing things not because they are the right thing to do, but because the wealthy donors want them done. In this particular instance, Rove is no different.

The revelation about Rove in Cruz’s new book occurs as Cruz describes running for Attorney General of Texas in 2009 and 2010 and meeting with the elder former President Bush—whose son George W. Bush was also a former president, having just wrapped his second term in the White House— to seek his endorsement for the Attorney General race.

“Karl had found out about my meeting with George H.W. Bush and called me on the phone,” Cruz writes. “He was irate, demanding, ‘What in the hell do you think you are doing?!’”

Cruz noted that Rove was “in the process of helping raise money for the George W. Bush presidential library in Dallas,” and that “Texas donors were giving the Bushes tens of millions, including major donors who were supporting the Dallas state rep who wanted to run for attorney general,” so those donors “were now berating Karl.”

“Well, Karl,” Cruz writes he responded to Rove on the phone. “I was just doing what you suggested when we met. Going out and getting support.”

Cruz was referencing an earlier meeting he had with Rove, the former senior adviser to President George W. Bush, about a potential run for a higher office than the one he currently held: Solicitor General of Texas. “He advised that I should stay on the job as solicitor general, keep building my record, and find opportunities to systematically build political support for a future run,” Cruz wrote of what Rove told him in that meeting. “It was good advice, and I tried hard to follow it.”

Rove, in response to Cruz’s comments in their phone conversation about how his meeting with the former president of the United States was exactly what he told Cruz to do earlier, replied: “Yeah, well I didn’t think you were going to get support from 41.”

Cruz then wrote that Rove implied he didn’t think the elder Bush was competent enough to make decisions for himself anymore.

“He suggested that the elder Bush was too old to have good judgment anymore,” Cruz wrote. “I was offended by that characterization and knew from my visit with 41 that it wasn’t remotely true. As Karl continued to yell at me, I responded calmly, ‘Look, I got my start in politics working for Bush 43 and for you… What would you like me to do?”

“Return the check,” Rove replied, according to Cruz’s book.

“Well, I can’t do that,” Cruz responded. “We already deposited it.”

“I pointed out that under Texas’s election law, we had to list the contribution on our ethics disclosure report,” Cruz wrote, noting that Rove “paused for a few seconds.”

“All right, fine,” Rove told him. “Then I want you to do nothing whatsoever to draw attention to it.”

At that point, Cruz writes, Rove threatened him:

And then he pulled out the hammer. He implied that if I made any news about Bush 41’s support, then Bush 43 would endorse my opponent and come out publicly for him—a threat that was fairly striking given that I had devoted four years of my life to working as hard as I could helping to elect Bush and serving in his administration. I always wondered whether Karl had the authority to make these threats on behalf of the former president—he certainly acted like he did. In any event, the last thing I wanted to do in running a fledgling campaign in Texas was to get on the wrong side of Rove and the second President Bush.

So, Cruz agreed not to draw attention to the George H.W. Bush endorsement. “Fine,” he replied to Rove. “We’ll do nothing to draw attention to it.”

Cruz wrote that Heidi, his wife and potential future first lady, depending on what happens in the 2016 elections, was furious with this whole situation: “When I hung up the phone, I turned to Heidi, who’d been listening to the whole conversation,” Cruz writes. “She was trembling, and visibly angry. At Karl. And at me, for caving in.”

“You know what?” Heidi Cruz said to Ted. “This is what’s screwed up about the Republican Party. Why the hell should the Republican nominee for attorney general in Texas depend not on their qualifications, but on who the donors are to the Bush presidential library?”

Shortly thereafter, Cruz writes, the former President George H.W. Bush sent him a quote and press release to announce his endorsement of Cruz’s campaign. But Cruz ordered his staff to get rid of it.

“A couple of hours after my conversation with Rove, we received an email from Bush 41’s office,” Cruz writes. “They had approved the draft endorsement we had sent, an unbelievably effusive statement from George and Barbara Bush calling me ‘the future of the Republican Party.’ I was grateful yet again. It was difficult to imagine that Bush 41 was unaware of the consternation that his endorsement would cause Rove.”

Nonetheless, Cruz told his staff to “take our draft press release announcing the endorsement and throw it in the trash.”

“We then informed Bush 41’s office that I was immensely thankful for the support, that it meant so much to Heidi and to me, but we weren’t going to release a statement,” Cruz writes. “We didn’t want to anger Karl or 43. The former president’s office said he understood.”

Cruz eventually dropped out of the bid for Attorney General when then-Attorney General Greg Abbott decided to run again. He had not been planning to run again, but Abbott then decided not to give up his office, so at that point Cruz backed out of the race. Abbott, of course, is now the governor of Texas—and Cruz would go on a few years later to become a national conservative rockstar in the United States Senate.

This excerpt from Cruz’s book is sure to cause division in Bush world, as a third Bush–former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, 41’s son and 43’s brother–seeks the White House in 2016, running against Cruz in the Republican Primary.


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