Ted Cruz warns of ‘bloodbath’ for GOP

Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas, speaks during a news conference following the weekly Senate Republican caucus luncheon in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, June 2, 2020.

Sarah Silbiger | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, warned that Republicans could see “a bloodbath of Watergate proportions” if voters are angry and broke when casting their ballots this year. 

“If people are going back to work, if they’re optimistic, if they’re positive about the future, we could see a fantastic election: the president getting reelected with a big margin, Republicans winning both Houses of Congress,” Cruz said in an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Friday.

“But I also think if on Election Day, people are angry and they’ve given up hope and they’re depressed, which is what [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi, [D-Calif.], and [Senate Minority Leader Chuck] Schumer, [D-N.Y.], want them to be, I think it could be a terrible election. I think we could lose the White House and both houses of Congress, that it could be a bloodbath of Watergate proportions.”

Cruz was referring to congressional gains Democrats made in 1974 following President Richard Nixon’s resignation over the Watergate scandal. Democrat Jimmy Carter would go on to win the presidential race in 1976. 

Cruz on Friday blamed Pelosi and Schumer for holding up a deal to provide a new round stimulus and direct payment checks to Americans during the coronavirus pandemic, claiming they were doing so to boost Democrats’ election chances.

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump abruptly called off talks until after the election, though Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke about a broad stimulus plan on Thursday, according to the speaker’s spokesperson Drew Hammill. 

Cruz said he’d spoken with Trump on Thursday and that the president wants to make a deal. That same day, White House communications director Alyssa Farah told reporters the White House wanted to address a variety of stimulus strategies but not as “part of a larger package.” Farah later told reporters “we’re open to going with something bigger,” but “we’re not going to operate from the $2.2 trillion that the speaker laid out.”

Representatives for Pelosi and Schumer did not immediately respond to CNBC’s requests for comment.

Democratic nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden’s lead over Trump has been growing in the polls since the president’s Covid-19 diagnosis, with 25 days to go until Election Day. Based on Real Clear Politics’ broader average of surveys from Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Arizona, Biden holds a 4.6-point advantage.

According to the U.S. Election Project, over 7 million voters have already cast their ballots early or by mail this year. 

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