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In a Facebook post, Bush called Cruz “a consistent, principled conservative” and said the entire Republican Party needed to unite behind a single candidate who was not Donald Trump. Bush cited Trump’s decisiveness and vulgarity as disqualifying factors.
But Bush, who ended his own presidential bid after the South Carolina primary, was not always so generous to the Texas senator.
Here are six times when Jeb Bush was critical of Cruz:
1. When Cruz said that nominating Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts was “a mistake”
At a town hall in Charleston, South Carolina, on Oct. 24, Bush told the audience in Bishop England High School, "[Ted Cruz] was supportive of the guy he was critical of, that’s Washington world man, I mean that’s the way they role there. He literally supported John Roberts and then after the fact, with the power of hindsight, this amazing power that only people in Washington have, the rest of us apparently don't have this skill. He can opine the way he wants.”
2. On Cruz’s views on immigration
At another town hall in Nashua, New Hampshire, on Dec. 19, Bush explained his views on granting legal status to undocumented immigrants if they haven’t broken any other laws since entering the United States and after they pay a fine.
"By the way, that view, Ted Cruz had until he went into the witness protection program," Bush said.
3. On Cruz’s strategy to defeat ISIS
At the same town hall in Nashua in December, Bush characterized Cruz’s plan to fight ISIS in Syria as inconsistent and reminded the audience when the Texas senator said, "We have no dog in the fight of the Syrian civil war."
Bush slammed Cruz’s carpet-bombing strategy, calling it “not realistic” and “not grounded in reality.”
4. Bush called Cruz and Marco Rubio “back-bench senators”
After a testy back and forth between Cruz and Marco Rubio, which drew cheers and boos from the audience, about each senator’s record at the sixth GOP presidential debate on Jan. 14, Bush took the opportunity to rip Cruz and Rubio and cast himself as the adult in the room.
“This last back and forth between two back-bench senators, you know, explains why we have the mess in Washington, D.C.,” Bush said.
5. Bush said Cruz did not have a “record of accomplishment” in the Senate
Speaking to reporters in Tilton, New Hampshire, on Feb. 4, Bush contrasted the record of Sen. Rubio and Sen. Cruz with the record and experience of Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, all Republicans.
“The guy has not missed a vote for 22.5 years; he probably has a list of accomplishments and service to the state of Iowa and to this country that’s pretty real,” Bush said of Grassley. “Marco doesn’t have it, he’s gifted. Ted Cruz doesn’t have it, he’s gifted. I’m not saying they’re not talented people. But they don’t have a record of accomplishment and some people will think about that when they make the decision of who’s going to be their vote on Tuesday.”
6. Bush said he was more electable than Cruz
At a press gaggle in Hampton, New Hampshire, on Jan. 21, Bush was asked about comments made by a former Senate majority leader, and 1996 Republican presidential nominee, Bob Dole, who said Cruz would be “cataclysmic” for the GOP as the nominee.
“I don’t think Ted Cruz would have the same possibilities of beating Hillary Clinton that I would. Nor would Donald Trump for that matter,” Bush responded.