Conservative Review - The Real Reason G.W. Bush Hates Ted Cruz

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George W. Bush & Ted Cruz

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The Real Reason G.W. Bush Hates Ted Cruz

By: Jen Kuznicki | November 9th, 2015

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“I just don’t like the guy,” said former President George W. Bush of Senator Ted Cruz, according to reports of a meeting Bush had with donors not too long ago.  The 43rd president went on to add that he believed Cruz was an opportunist running for president for personal gain, unlike his sainted brother, who is a true public servant.

Shortly after the report came out, “Bush’s brain” Karl Rove continued the attack on Cruz, saying, "I do know that President Bush has expressed some — on a number of occasions — a little bit of astonishment as to the attacks that Ted made on him. For example, [he] went out of his way to attack his appointment of John Roberts. Yet at the time of the appointment of John Roberts, Ted Cruz was a personal friend of John Roberts, wrote a strongly positive piece about him ... said that both John Roberts and the man who appointed him, George W. Bush, were strong, dependable conservatives."

This is all a bit hard to swallow.

Rove acts clueless as to why John Roberts is up near the top of the conservative blacklist, but the grassroots knows it is because Roberts did not faithfully interpret the Constitution when it came to Obamacare; instead he rewrote the law and kept it alive.

So if what G.W. Bush and Rove both say is the reason they don’t like Cruz isn’t the real reason, we need to look at the history of Bush and Cruz.  That history, from the waning hours of the Bush presidency,to today’s primary shake-up and the downfall of Jeb Bush, is fascinating.

In 2003, Jose Ernesto Medellin was on death row for his subhuman crimes a decade earlier: the rape and murder of two young girls, ages 14 and 16.  Medellin was an illegal immigrant and sought to have his execution stayed, claiming that during his trial he was not notified of an international law through which he could have obtained legal aid from the Mexican consulate. Mexico then sued the United States on behalf of Medellin and 50 other illegal immigrants that were incarcerated in the U.S. for crimes they committed on US soil, citing the same loophole. 

District and appellate courts threw out Medellin’s requests, but the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case.  Before the case could be argued, however, the Bush administration stepped in.

Bush took the position that as president, he had the authority under the Constitution to order states to review the convictions and sentences of foreign nationals in order to advise them of their rights according to international law. 

Prompted by the Bush memorandum, Medellin re-filed in Texas state court. Who was the state's solicitor general? Ted Cruz.

After the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals dismissed Medellin’s second appeal, the Supreme Court once again said they would take up the case. Ted Cruz argued the case before the Supreme Court in what was a quite contentious back and forth, recounted below from a summer 2014 issue of the New Yorker:

He (Cruz) argued that the President could not order Texas to reopen the cases without the specific authorization of Congress. Cruz duelled with Stephen Breyer and other skeptical Justices for well over the allotted thirty minutes. Breyer ribbed Cruz: “As I read the Constitution, it says all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States shall be the supreme law of the land, and the judges in every state—I guess it means including Texas”—the audience laughed—“shall be bound thereby.”

“Certainly, Justice Breyer,” Cruz answered. “Texas, of course, does not dispute that the Constitution, laws, and treaties are the supreme law of the land.” But, he went on, the President’s order, in this case, was none of these. The questioning of Cruz became so raucous that, at one point, Justice John Paul Stevens felt compelled to interject, “You said there are six reasons. . . . I really would like to hear what those reasons are without interruption from all of my colleagues.” Cruz won the case, six-to-three, with Stevens joining the Court’s conservatives.

Cruz bested not only the president, but all of his allies in this victory, and just as the clock was winding down on the Bush administration to boot.

Chief Justice Roberts wrote the majority opinion, so clearly Cruz had no beef with Roberts in 2008.  It wasn’t until the summer of 2012 when Roberts rewrote Obamacare in order to save it that he was excoriated by constitutionalists across the board.

Donald Trump needed only to point to the Medellin case to prove his argument that Mexico is sending drug runners, criminals, and rapists onto our soil.  The fact that the Bush administration was actively trying to get these illegal immigrants relief through international law puts the Bush venom for Cruz in perspective.

Meanwhile, Jeb Bush not too long ago wrote a book claiming that immigration never turns an election.

If Ted Cruz were a typical politician, he would not have gone against his own Republican President from his own home state; he might have sided with his “Hispanic” roots like Luis Gutierrez, he might have considered his future and his career like Bush suggested he is doing now: “opportunistically.” But Ted Cruz opted for justice and the rule of law where Bush grabbed at power he did not have.

But there is more here.  If Ted Cruz were a typical politician, he would not have gone against his own Republican President from his own home state; he might have sided with his “Hispanic” roots like Luis Gutierrez, he might have considered his future and his career like Bush suggested he is doing now: “opportunistically.”  But Ted Cruz opted for justice and the rule of law where Bush grabbed at power he did not have.                           

In the aftermath of Bush’s reported dislike of Cruz, Cruz did not counter the former president, but instead thanked him for the opportunity to work on his campaign, where Cruz met his wife, Heidi.

Conservatives were rightly outraged that Bush had been mostly silent on the policies and oppression of the Obama administration, taking back pats as a “classy” guy for not tearing down the worst president in our lifetime, only to turn his ire on Cruz.  But as to why Bush did it? After his and Rove’s explanation failed to pass the smell test, a little bit of history tells us way, way more.

 

Jen Kuznicki is a contributor to Conservative Review, blue collar, wife, mom, political writer, humorist, conservative activist, a seamstress by trade, and compelled to write. Follow her on Twitter @JenKuznicki

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