In South Carolina, Ted Cruz blisters Obama, GOP establishment

19 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Cruz needles Romney in front of South Carolina activists.

HOUSTON — Ted Cruz delivered on Sunday what looked like a dry run of his 2016 presidential stump speech to the South Carolina activists who will help decide that election. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, reiterated his pitch on Sunday that if Republicans nominate a moderate candidate to be their presidential nominee in 2016, they’ll lose the White House to the Democrats again. Ted Cruz is urging South Carolina conservatives to help nominate a Republican president from their own ranks in 2016 or risk losing a third consecutive national election. In his first visit to the state, which will host the third presidential primary in February 2016, since October, Cruz told the state’s Tea Party activists that nominating a moderate in 2016 would lead Republicans to lose just like they have when those moderates led tickets in the past.

His remarks reflect the view that recent GOP nominees haven’t been conservative enough. “If we nominate another candidate in the mold of a Bob Dole or a John McCain or a Mitt Romney, all of whom are good, honorable, decent men,” Cruz said, according to the according to the Houston Chronicle“the same people who stayed home in ’08 and ’12 will stay home in 2016 and the Democrats will win again.” In his speech, Cruz celebrated Republicans’ midterm election sweep and mocked establishment Republicans who chided him in 2013 for his role in a partial government shutdown. Cruz called GOP nominees like Mitt Romney in 2012, John McCain in 2008 and Bob Dole in 1996 “good, honorable and decent men” but not conservative enough.

Cruz’s appearance came days after Romney confirmed at the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting that he’s considering a third White House bid. The state’s junior senator implored those activists to judge presidential candidates toughly, asking them to look beyond their conservative rhetoric and evaluate their conservative records. “South Carolina is vital to ensuring Republicans nominate real conservatives lead this country,” Cruz said. “And what I would encourage you, for every candidate who shows up in front of you, is ask the question: Show me your the stripes on your back.

Romney weathered an uneasy relationship with the GOP’s conservative wing in 2012 in part because no single candidate among several conservative alternatives could sustain a viable campaign. Don’t talk.” Cruz hit many of his usual points in his 20 minutes of remarks, asking Republicans to demand uncompromising conservative leadership that would repeal Obamacare, abolish the IRS and block Barack Obama’s “executive amnesty.” But he also hit on some lesser-touched themes, discussing at length his successful attempt to create enough public pressure to cause Mayor Annise Parker to retract subpoenas requesting the sermons of some area pastors. “You cannot win a war on radical Islamic terrorism if you’re unwilling to utter the words ‘radical Islamic terrorism’,” he said, as activists said those words with him. “This administration has banned those words from our lexicon.” Cruz does not have any other public events scheduled in South Carolina. Tea party convention goers from several states this weekend have expressed optimism that the new dynamic could create an opening for Cruz or another establishment critic if he can consolidate rank-and-file conservatives who distrust the GOP’s traditional power structure. The “Washington graybeards” warned that the fight over the nation’s borrowing limit was “too risky” and would cost Republicans in 2014, he said. “We just saw an historic tidal wave of an election,” Cruz said, adding that the “graybeards” still haven’t admitted their political calculus was wrong. To Republicans who say such moves are too sweeping, Cruz again invoked Reagan, framing him as a bedrock conservative who battled the establishment of his day.

Cruz did not acknowledge that Reagan, while animating conservatives and attracting Democrats from the middle, also fashioned a series of compromises with Democrats and moderate Republicans on taxes, budgets, immigration and Social Security, among other issues. Another conservative favorite, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, offered the convention a long indictment of what he called a welfare state that has locked millions of Americans in poverty.

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