Months before the primary vote, that struggle comes to light. According to The New York Times, Texas senator and White House candidate Ted Cruz was left baffled Tuesday after an aide of a rival campaign physically blocked him from speaking to the press.
Cruz joined former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee at a rally celebrating the release of Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis, who was jailed last week for refusing to issue same sex marriage licenses. Her incarceration was a hot issue for the country's many religious conservatives who consider gay marriage an infringement on their religious beliefs. Huckabee and Cruz are among the loudest voices for the religious right.
But Tuesday in Kentucky, Huckabee apparently didn't want to share the stage as he heralded religious freedom. Even though the Texas senator leads Huckabee in virtually every poll, the Times called Cruz's appearance "largely overshadowed."
"When Mr. Cruz, who met with Ms. Davis, exited the Carter County Detention Center, a throng of journalists beckoned him toward their microphones, but an aide to Mr. Huckabee blocked the path of the senator, who appeared incredulous," the Times reported.
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The Huckabee camp was apparently bothered to share the spotlight at the highly-symbolic event; an unnamed campaign aide later told POLITICO that "Cruz showed up the day of and tried to take it over."
"First time any of us have ever seen a presidential candidate crash another candidate's event without so much as reaching out to get permission to attend," the aide told POLITICO, contrasting other reports that Huckabee invited Cruz.
But the snub seems unlikely to irk Cruz, who is cementing his already high-profile in the far right with a blossoming alliance of Tea Party powerhouses.
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He will headline a Washington D.C. rally Wednesday alongside Republican primary front runner Donald Trump and iconic former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, according to the Associated Press. It's the latest development in a Trump-Cruz friendship that has grown at the Texas senator's push (he invited Trump to the rally), even as Trump courts the far-right, anti-establishment voters that make up Cruz's support.
That's led many experts to speculate on a potential Trump-Cruz ticket in 2015.
Cruz currently ranks fourth, favored by six percent of voters, in a Huffington Post aggregation of 152 voter polls. Trump ranks first, favored by 32 percent.
Huckabee ranks sixth, favored by five percent.