New York Times
By Michael Barbaro
January 21, 2016
Senator Marco Rubio declared Thursday that his Senate colleague Ted Cruz “is not who he says he is,” challenging Mr. Cruz’s sincerity and calling him a flip-flopper.
“Ted has had a tough week,” Mr. Rubio said at a campaign stop here. “Because what’s happening now is people are learning more about him.”
Mr. Rubio, who prides himself on not attacking his Republican rivals, seems to be intensifying and broadening attempts to cast doubt on them as voting nears. Earlier on Thursday, he criticized Jeb Bush for supporting national education standards.
In his attack on Mr. Cruz, Mr. Rubio recounted an episode last year on the floor of the Senate in which the Texas senator voted against a crop insurance bill and then quickly reversed his vote to endorse it.
“He voted against it. And then someone told him, ‘Hey, you know, they are not going to like that in Iowa,’” Mr. Rubio said. “Fifteen, 20 minutes later, he came back and flipped his vote on that.”
Mr. Cruz has said that he was confused about which bill he was voting on at the time.
Mr. Rubio’s attack on Mr. Bush came as the former Florida governor has been showing some strength in New Hampshire polls, highlighting the fluidity of the Republican race here.
Mr. Rubio’s criticism of Mr. Cruz were not new: He delivered several of the same lines against Mr. Cruz during the Republican debate last week. But he has since largely refrained from mocking Mr. Cruz by name on the campaign trail. On Thursday, that changed.
Mr. Rubio further criticized Mr. Cruz over his voting record and past statements on immigration, saying that he has backed efforts to make it easier for foreigners to come to and stay in the country.
“He’s out there attacking everybody on immigration,” Mr. Rubio said, “but he was the one that was in favor of legalizing people who were here illegally and in favor of expanding, by 500 percent, the number of guest workers we bring into United States. He’s the one who wanted to double the number of green cards from what we offer now.”
Mr. Rubio repeated his claim, still in dispute, that Mr. Cruz voted to reduce federal defense spending.
“He’s out there talking about how he’s going to ‘carpet bomb’ ISIS,” Mr. Rubio said, “but he voted to cut defense spending.”
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