Texas Gov. Rick Perry Thursday needled fellow Republican Sen. Ted Cruz — a relative newcomer to Texas politics who served Perry as the state’s top appellate lawyer — saying he wasn’t worried the "junior senator" had eclipsed him.
At the state GOP convention in Fort Worth earlier this month, Perry ran a distant fourth in a presidential straw poll
behind Cruz, Dr. Ben Carson and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. in a presidential straw poll.
But polls, Perry said at a lunch hosted by the Christian Science Monitor, are just "a snapshot in time," noting he was behind by 30 percentage points early in his last bid for reelection, the Dallas News reported.
And Perry thoroughly dismissed the idea Cruz has made a big difference in state politics.
"Texas is pretty big; it’s pretty diverse; the legislature is a microcosm of the state, so I’m not sure one person has the ability to change all that," Perry said at a lunch hosted by the Christian Science Monitor, Roll Call reported.
Cruz has mostly stayed out of federal elections, except for his endorsements
of fellow Texas Sen. John Cornyn and T.W. Shannon in the Oklahoma GOP primary for Senate, Roll Call noted. But he’s gotten involved in some of the state elections, including endorsing state Sen. Dan Patrick over incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.
"We all get our 15 seconds of fame, right," Perry said. "Whether it was Ann Richards, or whether it was George W. Bush or whether it was Rick Perry or whether it was Ted Cruz. Long term, I think it requires somebody with substantial staying power to make a long-term difference in Texas.
"The idea that a personality in the political arena can change Texas may be a little bit outside the realm of reality," he added. "Ask me in eight years if Sen. Cruz has made an impact on the state. At this particular point in time, it’s a little early to say that a junior senator would have substantively changed the state."
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