Without saying the name "Ted Cruz," a top White House official told other members of the Republican Party that the Texas senator might not be re-elected because he's not "likable," The New York Times reports.
The Times obtained an audio recording from a meeting held in New York City on Saturday, attended by Mick Mulvaney, who heads the White House Office of Management and Budget, and Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel. Democrats need to gain 23 seats to take control of the House, and Mulvaney is heard telling the crowd of officials and donors he doesn't believe that a "blue wave" is on the horizon. He did, however, share that he believes there's a "very real possibility we will win a race for Senate in Florida and lose a race in Texas for Senate, okay? I don't think it's likely, but it's a possibility. How likable is a candidate? That still counts."
Cruz is facing off against Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke, and polls show a tight race. In response to the Times report, Cruz said he doesn't "worry about what some political guy in Washington says. I worry about what the people of Texas say." During the meeting, Mulvaney mentioned failed Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, who lost last year's special election after being accused by several women of sexual misconduct. "The president asks me all the time, 'Why did Roy Moore lose?'" Mulvaney said. "That's easy. He was a terrible candidate." Mulvaney also predicted that Trump's dismal approval ratings won't be a problem come the midterms, because "you may hate the president, and there's a lot of people who do, but they certainly like the way the country is going." Catherine Garcia