New numbers out today show Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas was able to turn his 21-hour overnight denunciation of Obamacare into just under $800,000 in contributions for the Ted Cruz Victory Committee, his political action committee.
Austin-based GOP strategist Matt Mackowiak said it’s not abnormal for politicians to use an event like Cruz’s filibuster-like speech to raise campaign dollars.
"Folks around him on the political side would be committing malpractice if they weren’t raising money off of all the attention he was getting," Mackowiak said. "But I don’t believe he sat there and said, 'Why don't I lead a filibuster so that I can raise about $800,000.""
The PAC can only use the money to support like-minded politicians or groups and cannot use it for Cruz' own campaigning. Even though this money push is evidence that Cruz has the power to pull in donations, and quickly, a run for president -- or even another Senate run -- is another story.
"If he runs for president he’s going to need $25 million-$50 million and if he’s runs for re-election he’s going to need $10 million-$20 million," Mackowiak said. "He is in a position where anything he raises now can be transferred to an account if he wants to run for president."
And that’s exactly where Mackowiak says Ted Cruz is heading going in to the 2016 election. He said the support that Cruz is gaining will essentially force him to run for the presidency.
That is, of course, if he qualifies as a "natural born" citizen of the United States -- Cruz was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.