Ted Cruz is now raising money to get Scott Walker out of debt

It's a transparent play for Walker's endorsement but Cruz is now practicing his newfound Mr. Nice Guy mode

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published December 15, 2015 2:51PM (EST)

  (Jeff Malet, maletphoto.com)
(Jeff Malet, maletphoto.com)

Ted Cruz is determined to play nice on the campaign trail.

When his 2016 frenemy Donald Trump called him a maniac at a recent campaign stop, the freshman senator responded with a playful nod to the film "Flashdance." It is clear as day that Cruz's plan to win the Republican presidential nomination is to somehow discard his brazenly earned reputation as Capitol Hill rabble-rouser and transform into Mr. Nice Guy in an effort to corral the supporters of his competitors. And part of that plan includes making nice with one-time rivals like Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who has yet to endorse a candidate. Cruz is so committed to his plan that he is already asking his supporters to beginning donating not to his own campaign, but to what's left of Walker's failed presidential bid -- his campaign debt.

“#CruzCrew - I stand with my friend @ScottWalker & hope you will too!” the Texas senator tweeted Monday evening with a link to a page for donations to "Walker for America" and an offer of Walker-themed lapel pins for anyone who donates $30 or more:

Walker, of course, infamously spent $90,000 a day to run his short-lived campaign into $1 million in debt by early September. At 71 days, Walker's campaign stands as the third-shortest presidential bid since 1972.

According to a FOX6 News report in October, Walker's campaign owed nearly $70,000 to the state for travel and security expenses incurred from the beginning of the year through June 30.

In response to Cruz's sudden graciousness, Walker tweeted back an enthusiastic "Thanks!":

Politico reported last month that Florida Senator Marco Rubio was also lobbying hard for Walker's endorsement, calling the governor directly to ask for his support. Walker reportedly indicated he wouldn't announce his endorsement until early next year.

Everybody Hates Ted Cruz

By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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