Politico put it best in a headline – “message to Wall Street: HELP ME.” So, who is this frequent basher of the bankers who is having a Vincent Price moment? Why none other than the ultimate insider’s outsider, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who suddenly finds his campaign running low on cash.
If he is going to keep Trump from getting the 1,237 delegates he needs to secure the nomination before the GOP convention, Cruz will have to spend heavily on the airwaves in the remaining primary and caucus states, especially California, which closes out the voting on June 7. Cruz ended February with $8 million in the bank. His campaign says he pulled in $12 million — only a modest haul, for this stage of the campaign — in March, but that money will evaporate quickly during the final sprint.
And the campaign has been sending relentless fundraising emails to everyone on the list, too. (Yours truly is just deleting them.)
As it happens, on Monday, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and the rest of the Republican Party announced a fundraiser in New York at the Harvard Club. For the following prices, you too can attend, and rub elbows with Ted and Heidi:
Event chairs for the Harvard Club gathering must collect $25,000 each for Cruz. Members of the host committee must commit to bringing in $10,800. Those who donate $2,700 will get to schmooze with the Cruzes at a VIP reception. General admission is $1,000.
According to the Politico article, Cruz does not like depending on his Harvard classmates or personal contacts – even through his wife’s employer, Wall Street operative, Goldman Sachs – very much, but desperate times call for desperate measures. The question now is whether or not the very people Ted Cruz has gone out of his way to vilify will back him for president. Cruz is not liked any more on Wall Street than he is in the Senate, but on Wall Street, the bankers are pragmatic enough to recognize that he is the lesser of two evils. However, there are those on Wall Street who just can’t bring themselves to back him and are not afraid to say so.
Ken Langone, co-founder of Home Depot and now a Wall Street investor who backs Ohio Gov. John Kasich for president, said he could never see himself getting behind Cruz.
“I couldn’t do it because I just don’t like the guy,” Langone said, echoing sentiments uttered privately by executives all over the financial industry. “I don’t like the way he presents himself and I don’t like the way he isolates himself. One of the problems in Washington is you have to get things done, and I don’t think he’s proven that he can work in that environment. I don’t like the man. I’m not a fan.”
These are sentiments echoed at all levels of the American landscape about Ted Cruz. (And Heidi’s plastic surgeon did something weird with her eyebrows.)
The plain and simple reality is that Ted Cruz needs money for any kind of campaign if he expects to beat Donald Trump in a popularity contest. One of the few places left to find it in abundance is Wall Street. The upcoming fundraiser was pushed by the party as a good idea. We’ll see how it plays out.