Editorial: Cruz, Paul can make early mark with visits to S.C.

  • Posted: Tuesday, November 5, 2013 12:01 a.m.

These guys obviously aren’t Mitt Romney. Even a cursory view of the personalities and stances of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., reveal that difference.

Both are said to be angling to make runs at the White House in 2016, and both are making appearances in South Carolina this month.

Cruz visited a group of pastors in Columbia on Monday, while Paul will be visiting Charleston on Veterans Day – Nov. 11. Although both have garnered tea party followers, they’re certainly not the same politically.

Cruz, the son of an evangelical preacher, reportedly views Paul as too unorthodox on social issues. And according to the New York Times, Paul’s inner circle privately derides Cruz as “the chef of the wacko birds,” repeating a sentiment expressed by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

If he decides to run for president, Paul’s job will be to try to prove to voters he’s not simply a repeat of his father’s failed candidacies.

In his two presidential runs, Ron Paul essentially wrote off the Palmetto State. As a socially conservative state with a large military population, the stances of both father and son are out of line with some Republican voters. Cruz’s standoff over the Affordable Care Act and support of a shutdown should garner support from conservative voters in the state, but his firebrand style may be a turnoff for others.

Their paths will likely cross if both decide to make a run for the White House. By making appearances in South Carolina, they’re putting a vital foot forward in one of the earliest and most important voting states.

It appears to be a rivalry in the making, and one that will likely play out in the political jungle of our state as the race draws closer.

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