Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s PAC to the Future fundraising outfit is emailing supporters about Texas senator Ted Cruz’s alleged endorsement of voter suppression.
“BREAKING: Ted Cruz caught on tape admitting voter suppression” begins the communiqué, which goes on to assert that “Republicans are rushing hundreds of voter suppression measures to keep Democrats from EVER winning a historic upset like Georgia again.”
Neither the tape nor a transcript of Cruz’s comments are linked to or provided, so it’s unclear what the basis of the email is. However, it seems likely that it is referencing comments made about the Democrats’ For the People Act on a conference call back in March — so not exactly “BREAKING.”
Moreover, Cruz’s actual wording doesn’t constitute a defense of voter suppression, but rather calls into question whether the bill’s Democratic champions — Pelosi, President Joe Biden, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer — are in fact motivated by a desire to secure a partisan advantage, rather than by a civic-minded desire to expand the franchise.
“H.R. 1′s only objective is to ensure that Democrats can never again lose another election, that they will win and maintain control of the House of Representatives and the Senate and of the state legislatures for the next century” Cruz told his audience at the time, while also complaining about myriad provisions found within the bill.
Should it pass, H.R. 1 would initiate a federal elections takeover, eliminate popular voter-ID laws passed by state legislatures across the country, and rollback state-level restrictions on felon voting. To believe that Cruz’s comments constitute an argument for voter suppression, one would have to maintain that any opposition whatsoever to those reforms is born of a cynical desire to prevent one’s political opponents from voting.
Steve Guest, a spokesman for Senator Cruz, accused Pelosi of “twist[ing] Sen. Cruz’s words in a hyperbolic fundraising email.”
“The truth is, Democrats across the country are scheming to undermine election integrity with the Corrupt Politicians Act. Meanwhile, Sen. Cruz is laser-focused leading the fight against the Democrats’ push to cement their power in DC for the next 100 years with their federal takeover of our election system,” he added.
Republicans have increasingly speculated that Democrats are less interested in passing a federal elections bill than they are in using its blockage as a political tool ahead of the the 2022 midterms. Clearly, Pelosi and her team see H.R. 1 — and more broadly, the attempt to cast any GOP-passed bills in states such as Georgia, Florida, and Texas under the umbrella of “voter suppression” — as a powerful fundraising subject likely to entice Democratic voters to reach into their wallets.
It’s less clear whether the Democrats’ proposed reforms and opposition to Republicans ones are an electoral winner. Despite a sustained public relations attack blitz that included the president of the United States labeling it “Jim Crow on steroids,” 42 percent of Americans support the Georgia elections reform bill while only 36 percent oppose it.