Texas Gov. Rick Perry needled GOP Sen. Ted Cruz, saying he was skeptical a “junior senator” could have 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, a Republican, told reporters at a Thursday lunch hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.
Perry, who openly acknowledges he is mulling a presidential bid in 2016, has often been on the opposite side of Cruz in local politics. In 2012, Cruz defeated Perry’s endorsed candidate, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, in a runoff for the Senate. This cycle, Cruz— who is also considering a 2016 bid — has largely stayed out of federal elections, with a couple exceptions . But Cruz has played in some of the state elections in Texas, including endorsing Konni Burton to succeed Wendy Davis in the Lonestar State’s Senate District 10.
“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 continued. “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.”
Corrected: Monday, 5:30 p.m. A previous version of this story erroneously reported a Cruz endorsement.