I’m surprised Senator Ted Cruz criticizes me in his new book, particularly since I have been promoting it on my website, Rove.com, since April. Regardless, my recollection of the phone call he references from six years ago (2009) differs from his reported account.
My concern then was that Mr. Cruz had solicited a contribution for a possible attorney general race from the former president without making it clear that incumbent Attorney General Greg Abbott had yet to make a decision about seeking re-election. This put President George H.W. Bush potentially in the position of opposing a sitting officeholder who had previously been appointed to the Texas Supreme Court by his son, then-Governor George W. Bush. General Abbott decided later in 2009 that he would seek reelection the following year.
My call to Mr. Cruz apparently didn’t offend him back then because he continued seeking my counsel about his political ambitions, specifically his 2012 bid for the U.S. Senate. One piece of advice I offered was that he should stop describing himself as the “next Marco Rubio,” since he did not have Senator Rubio’s outstanding legislative record of accomplishments as speaker of the Florida House of Representatives.
Mr. Cruz’s account is wrong in other particulars, starting with an implication I would question the judgment of one of the finest men I have ever known, President Bush 41, whom I went to work for when I was 22 years old and have revered ever since.
When Mr. Cruz and I talked in 2009, I was not raising money for the Bush Library, nor was former President Bush 43 going to endorse some unnamed Dallas state representative for state attorney general, nor were any library donors “berating” me. Most Texas Republicans were waiting for General Abbott to make his decision and hoping that he would run again, as he was doing such a terrific job. It was the right thing to do. He continues to do a tremendous job for Texas, only now as our governor.
I am accustomed to being criticized for others’ political benefit, but am disappointed in how Senator Cruz decided to raise the name of one of the finest presidents our country has ever known, President George H.W. Bush.