North Dakota Congressman Kevin Cramer made waves at the NDGOP convention over the weekend by endorsing polarizing presidential candidate Donald Trump.
In my column about the endorsement I suggested that Cramer was maybe trolling us, endorsing in part Trump because his Democrat challenger in the House blasted him on it.
Part of my case for that is Cramer didn’t, in his endorsing comments, spend a lot of time talking about Trump’s real qualifications to be president. Also, Cramer called insult machine Trump a unity candidate, so c’mon.
Yesterday, while guest hosting for Mike McFeely on AM 970 WDAY, I asked Cramer to go more in-depth on the endorsement, and while he still didn’t talk a lot about Trump’s qualifications, he did give me something he doesn’t like about Ted Cruz.
“He opposes the Farm Bill,” Cramer told me. “He opposes the sugar program.”
[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]”He opposes the Farm Bill,” Cramer told me. “He opposes the sugar program.”[/mks_pullquote]
Agriculture, and particularly sugar beets in the eastern part of the state, are big business in North Dakota. Still, I doubt many conservatives are going to like to hear that Cramer is siding with Trump because Cruz is critical of government subsidies for the agriculture industry.
How much the Farm Bill is even about funding? These days about 80 percent of the appropriations in it have to do with food stamps.
The sugar program, in particular, is a fairly obnoxious program. It controls domestic sugar production to keep prices high while imposing protectionist restrictions to inhibit access to foreign sugar.
That’s good for local interests in North Dakota, I suppose, but it inflates price of sugar and creates the exact opposite of the sort of free market conservatives are supposed to be supporting.
So it almost kind of seems like Cramer doesn’t like Cruz because he’s too conservative.