Tea party Republicans have been looking for a challenger to take on U.S. Senator John Cornyn. They may have found their man in evangelical leader David Barton, whom my colleague Nate Blakeslee wrote about in 2006. A blog on the site Patheos posted this commentary:
Barton’s name recognition would swamp the other three challengers and soon involve the national media. A Barton v. Cornyn confrontation would place additional focus on the current GOP Civil War. Barton’s supporters would invoke memories of Ted Cruz’s improbable victory over an establishment candidate in Texas with Barton cast as Cruz’s ally. Given Barton’s early support for Cruz, I suspect Cruz would endorse Barton. Cornyn would have a boatload of opposition research to use but Barton’s followers seem immune to such things. All of this is probably enough to cause major heartburn among the GOP establishment in Texas.
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Well, I agree that Barton's candidacy would be enough to cause major heartburn among the GOP establishment in Texas. He is, after all, a former vice-chairman of the state Republican Party. Having said that, I think it's a little late to start a campaign to defeat a sitting United States Senator with a hefty campaign bankroll who is certain to get the support of the state and national Republican establishment. Former state rep Rick Green, who is associated with Wallbuilders, an organization that is part of Barton's media and political empire, posted a comment to the National Review Online that reads:
More than 1,000 (zero exaggeration, that is an actual number) tea party and Republican party leaders have asked David Barton to run. Polling says Sen. Cornyn is vulnerable and that’s why he is running ads right now. Like America’s Founding Fathers, David Barton will not “seek” this office, but if the people of Texas speak loud enough in the next few days, he could most certainly be drafted in by the voters.
I am fascinated by Mr. Green's open acknowledgement that there is a GOP ciivil war and his apparent eagerness to engage in the warfare. Not that we didn't know it already, but the airing of the dirty laundry is not something you come across every day. Other potential Republican challengers to Cornyn who are mentioned in the blog are a couple of U.S. Representatives, Stephen E. Stockman and Louis B. Gohmert, and, believe it or not, Rafael Cruz, yes, the father of Ted Cruz.
AP Photo | Evan Vucci