SAN ANTONIO, Texas — This past weekend at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, every possible candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination laid out his case for being the Republican presidential nominee in 2016. Every speaker from Jeb Bush to Rand Paul to Ben Carson used the opportunity to burnish his conservative credentials and present himself as the most conservative candidate in the building.
Sen. Ted Cruz was one of the few individuals who gave the audience more than just conservative platitudes and anti-Obama rhetoric. Cruz gave the audience two very clear and concise reasons why he stands apart from the crowd and why he can be trusted: He has the battle scars to prove that he has stood up for conservative principles, and he can bring together all three legs of the Republican Party.
He has backed up his words with actions.
Most of the possible candidates focused their CPAC speeches on strong anti-Obma rhetoric and promises to the American people about what they will do in the future. In politics today, there is no reason to believe that any politician will stand up for certain principles once he gains power, unless he has defended those principles before, especially at times when standing up for them was not politically or personally beneficial.
Cruz reminded the crowd that he has fought for conservative principles and policies. “Talk is cheap,” he began, “actions speak far, far louder than words. We need to look to people who walk the walk and dont just talk the talk. I had a former boss who used to say, ‘If I’m ever accused of being a Christian, I’d like for there to be enough evidence to convict me.’ It is equally true of being a conservative. If youre really a conservative you will have been in the trenches, you will bear the scars, you will have been fighting the fights.”
Cruz also emphasized that he is willing to go against the grain and stand up to members of his own party to defend his conservative values and the promises he made to the people of Texas when he ran for Senate. “If you have a candidate that has stood against Democrats, thats great! But when have you been willing to stand up against Republicans? When have you been willing to stand with the people?”
Cruz has fought both Democrats and Republicans in Washington on many issues, including Obamacare, gun control, the debt ceiling, sanctions against Iran, Obama’s executive amnesty, the IRS targeting scandal, net neutrality, and leading the way on exposing the truth about Benghazi. He has taken a huge amount of unfair criticism from the Republican establishment on the many occasions when he has stood up for conservative values rather than towing the party line.
Cruz has kept every single promise he made to the people of Texas when he ran for Senate, regardless of the personal or political cost that he faced at the time. This lends him much more credibility than just about every other candidate who spoke.
He can bring together all three legs of the Republican Party
Republicans, if they want to win in 2016, must be able to bring together all three legs of the Republican Party: national security conservatives, fiscal conservatives, and social conservatives. Cruz is one of the few candidates who can appeal to all three.
Cruz made this point in his speech: “We need to reassemble the Reagan Coalition. We bring together fiscal conservatives, social conservatives and national security conservatives. We stand strong for economic growth, but we also stand for life and marriage. We defend constitutional rights but we also stand and lead the fight against ISIS and a nuclear Iran.”
He discussed how exactly to do this, and added a very strong jab at Hillary Clinton in the process. “We do that fundamentally, by standing with the people, and not with Washington. Washington wants Obamacare; the people want liberty. Washington wants amnesty; the people want rule of law. Washington wants power over the internet, the people want freedom online … Hillary Clinton embodies the corruption of Washington … we need to run a populous campaign standing for hardworking men and women. We need to take the power out of Washington, and bring it back to the American people.”
The Obama-Clinton-Kerry foreign policy has failed in every area of the world where they have involved themselves. Therefore, there is no doubt that foreign policy will be a huge topic in 2016. This bodes badly for Sen. Rand Paul, whose foreign policy is very similar to his father’s. That was the one issue that made Ron Paul an outcast with national security conservatives.
Paul and others will have a difficult time with the social conservative base as well, which is concerned with defending life from conception and traditional marriage. Cruz will be one of the very few candidates that appeals to all three branches.
In his speech, Cruz emphasized how many great conservative candidates may get in the race in 2016, and he is right; but he also clearly and cleverly differentiated himself in two very critical areas. Cruz will be a major player in 2016, and he gave two very strong reasons why he should be the next Republican nominee for President last weekend at CPAC.