Cruz’s message to Wall Street: Help me
by Ben White, Politico After bashing bankers, including his wife’s employer Goldman Sachs, he invites them to a Harvard Club fundraiser. This Monday, assorted bankers, traders and Wall Street lawyers will gather inside the neo-Georgian walls of the Harvard Club in midtown Manhattan to write big checks to an unlikely recipient: Ted Cruz. Cruz, who attended Harvard Law School, isn’t one to trade too heavily on old school ties and friendships at the likes of Goldman Sachs, where his wife works. On the campaign trail, the Texas senator has railed against Wall Street “crony capitalism,” ripped giant banks as “too big to fail” and wrapped himself in populist garb in his quest to take down Donald Trump. But now he’s desperate: Cruz, who has already received $12 million in support from the financial industry, needs Wall Street money more than ever. 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. So Cruz and his wife Heidi, currently on unpaid leave from her Goldman Sachs executive position, will gather with donors in New York next week to refill the coffers. 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. Given the formidable stakes, many on Wall Street are paying attention to Cruz’s overtures. Some say they dislike both Cruz and Trump, but will come to the aid of Cruz as the lesser evil. Others find Cruz’s anti-Wall Street rhetoric, combined with his role in promoting Washington gridlock, too objectionable to overcome. In a debate in November, Cruz ripped bailouts for “rich Wall Street banks.” More recently, Cruz slammed “New York values” while campaigning in Iowa. In a Bloomberg TV interview, Cruz even criticized Goldman, his wife’s employer, for receiving special favors from the government.