Why The Houston Chronicle Expresses Certain Regrets About Its Ted Cruz Endorsement (UPDATE)

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Nearly one year removed from its decision to endorse Ted Cruz, the Houston Chronicle reflected back on that choice in a Tuesday op-ed, admitting that he has not lived up to the paper's expectations.

In a piece entitled "Why We Miss Kay Bailey Hutchison," the newspaper reflected back on how Hutchison had an "extraordinary understanding of the importance of reaching across the aisle when necessary." That skill has not been displayed by Cruz or senior Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), according to the Chronicle.

When we endorsed Ted Cruz in last November's general election, we did so with many reservations and at least one specific recommendation - that he follow Hutchison's example in his conduct as a senator.

Obviously, he has not done so. Cruz has been part of the problem in specific situations where Hutchison would have been part of the solution.

In an Oct. 18, 2012 op-ed, the Chronicle explained that its endorsement of Cruz was premised on him following the example of previous senators, including Democrats Lloyd Bentsen, who went on to serve as Treasury Secretary and Lyndon B. Johnson, who later became president.

"We expect Cruz as the senator from the Lone Star State to spend his energies standing up for Texans of every background and economic station, representing their best interests from health care and education to energy, space and medicine," the paper wrote.

Cruz cruised to victory in the general U.S. Senate election against Democrat Paul Sadler, earning 56 percent of the vote. His latest win came in Saturday's Values Voter Summit straw poll, where he earned 42 percent of that vote.

UPDATE, 3:45 p.m. ET -- The Chronicle emailed the following statement to The Huffington Post Wednesday afternoon, clarifying that the op-ed was a "tribute" to Hutchison, and not a pull of the Cruz endorsement.

Our editorial today offered tribute to the statesman-like ways of former U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. We did not pull our endorsement of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz. Our references to Cruz served to provide context to the Hutchison tribute by emphasizing her ability to reach across the aisle when necessary. When we endorsed Cruz in October 2012, we also pointed to Hutchison as an exemplary role model for Texas lawmakers in Washington and suggested that he emulate the Texas statesmen who had come before him. Our editorial today simply referred back to that recommendation.

It is not unusual, and certainly not extraordinary, for newspaper editorial boards to constructively reflect on the tenures of elected officials whom the panel has endorsed and criticize their performances when we deem it necessary. Our evaluation of elected officials’ work is an active, ongoing process. An endorsement does not preclude sharp criticism.

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