George P. Bush, the Texas Land Commissioner and son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, once called Senator Ted Cruz "the future of the Republican Party" and compared Cruz's effect on the party to the "Great Reformation."
"Ted is the future of the Republican Party," Bush said in a statement in support for Cruz during the 2012 Texas Republican Senate primary. Cruz, an upstart conservative and grassroots candidate, ultimately came from behind in that race to upset Texas lieutenant governor David Dewhurst, the establishment favorite.
"He is a proven conservative, and his personal story embodies the American Dream. Like Marco Rubio in Florida, I am confident that Ted will inspire a new generation of leaders to stand up and defend American Exceptionalism."
Speaking with the Texas Tribune about his 2013 campaign for land commissioner, Bush said his goal was to follow Cruz's playbook.
"Our idea is to take a page out of Ted Cruz's playbook and engage the grassroots and the activists within the party throughout the state," Bush said.
In that interview, Bush compared the effect candidates like Ted Cruz had on the party to the Great Reformation.
"I analogize it to the Great Reformation, where you have outside forces that reform a body or an institution," Bush said. "I think there are definitely some positive effects that are taking place within the party because of the Tea Party, increased grassroots activism, increased attention and concerns with respect to what's happening in Washington,D.C"
The young Bush told the Texas Tribune in September 2014 that Cruz was a "force of nature" and "fearless."
"I think he has been a forceful advocate for the issues that we talked about today on Obamacare and now increasingly on the international stage," said Bush. "But you know he is a force of nature on the conservative side and he's fearless. And honestly there are a lot of folks who are hungry for that type of challenge in Washington DC. And so we still exchange texts here and there you know, obviously we will help him with whatever he needs."
Asked about his past statements on Cruz by the Tribune, Bush said "I'm not going to endorse."
Asked about his dad, he said, "I think folks know that I love him."