Meet the next Ted Cruz
When Chip Roy was a top staffer for Ted Cruz, he was an architect of the Texas senator’s strategy to shut down the government over Obamacare.Now, in all likelihood, he’s heading for Congress with a House seat of his own, and top Republicans worry he’s going to make Cruz look like a squishy moderate.Roy is ready to play hardball with GOP leaders in Congress. He has pledged to support House Freedom Caucus founding chairman Jim Jordan for speaker, and is expected to quickly establish himself as one of the House GOP’s most outspoken and combative members.As with so many conservatives, however, Roy is treading lightly when it comes to Donald Trump. Once a fierce critic—described by friends as a committed “Never Trump” advocate in 2016, when he was working in support of Cruz’s presidential campaign—the congressional hopeful now talks fondly of the president, praising his assault on “the swamp” and sharing his concern about a “deep state” acting as a shadow government.And while most Republicans campaigning for Congress this November are touting the accomplishments of President Trump and his GOP majorities: tax reform, regulatory relief and a soaring number of federal judicial appointments. In the deep-red 21st congressional district of Texas, Chip Roy is running on a different message: Republicans haven’t done nearly enough.“If there is a thousand miles to go, we’ve gone maybe 50 miles,” Roy tells POLITICO’S “Off Message” podcast. “So now, we’ve got to focus on the things that the people really want to see done. We’ve got to have healthcare freedom, we’ve got to balance the budget and we’ve got to secure the border.”POLITICO's "Off Message" podcast is hosted by Tim Alberta, produced by Zack Stanton and executive produced by Dave Shaw. Intro/outro music by Podington Bear.